VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for
I was wondering if you could help me find some kind of volunteering
project for a group of about 30-40 people. I have youth leaders coming
in on December 30 for a Leadership Training Program and would really
appreciate it if you could help me find a one-day volunteer opportunity
for us on January 1, 2003. I was thinking of something along the line
of helping serve food to the homeless, or maybe do some work at a retirement
home, or beach clean-up, community rebuilding, or pretty much anything.
Thank you for all of your help.
First, I suggest you contact your local Volunteer Center and inquire
about group projects. They often have organizations looking for volunteers
in exactly the manner you describe. If you don't know how to contact
your Volunteer Center, visit the Points of Light Foundation site at
http://www.pointsoflight.org/centers/find_center.cfm. Just click on
your state and you can find your local Volunteer Center.
Next visit the Volunteer Opportunities page at VolunteerToday.com
They list a wide variety of organizations worldwide that utilize volunteers.
Finally, visit the VolunteerMatch.org site to search
for group volunteer projects in your area. Good luck and Happy Holidays!
P.S. to My Readers: For an in-depth
look at the subject of "holiday volunteers," visit http://www.charitychannel.com
and click on "Volunteer Management Review" (under "eNewsletters"
in the left-hand column). Georgean Johnson-Coffey is the author of an
excellent article entitled "Holiday Volunteers: Gifts to be
Do most organizations require interested applicants to attend general
orientation sessions prior to becoming registered volunteers? Thanks for
Most successful volunteer programs do require new volunteers to attend
an orientation. In my humble opinion, orientation is one of the most
important activities for new volunteers. It's the best opportunity to
share with them your organization's mission, introduce volunteer and
staff leaders, get a tour of the offices, and meet the other new volunteers.
Too often volunteer program managers focus on "training"-
providing information on specific tasks to be accomplished. Orientation
is the time to introduce new volunteers to the culture of your organization
and your volunteer program. It is the best time to share your expectations
for how volunteers support your organization's mission and each other.
The primary purpose of orientation is to provide volunteers with the
context within which they'll work. An effective orientation will provide
your volunteers with the following:
- A description of the history of your organization.
- A description of the overall programs and clients of your organization.
- A sketch of the organization charts of your organization.
- An orientation to the facilities and layout of your organization.
- Knowledge of general policies and procedures in your organization
and your volunteer program.
- A description of your volunteer management system.
I'm new to my job as an activity coordinator at a seniors lodge, and one
of my first projects is to revamp the volunteer program. I will be hosting
an informal appreciation evening, but besides a personalized scroll to
hand out, and a few nibblers to feast on, I am at a loss of what to do/say.
Appreciation events are a perfect time for volunteer recognition AND
volunteer participation. Since you're new and planning some "changes"
to your volunteer program, why not take this opportunity to celebrate
past successes by volunteers? Specifically I'm thinking about asking
long-time volunteers to share their fondest memories, funniest moments,
or early challenges. In addition to engaging volunteers in the event,
you begin to set the stage for moving into the future. You could put
together a small task force to help you plan the event, which also ensures
that you're meeting THEIR needs during the event. Keeping the event
short and simple is always a good thing too!
There are a wide variety of articles about recognition
events and items on the VolunteerToday.com site. Just use the search
feature at the top of the left-hand column on the home page. Type in
"recognition" and the links to all of the articles will appear.
Return to the Top of the Page
Do you have a question? Now you too
can ask an expert!
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources,
has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted
and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral,
Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association
for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie at
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
2939 Van Ness Street, NW - Suite 1248
Washington, DC 20008
A Service of MBA Publishing
925 "E" Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
VOICE : (509) 529-0244
All materials copyright protected ©2002
The content of all linked sites are beyond the control Volunteer
Today and the newsletter assumes no responsibility for their content.