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VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~2014 ~

Dear Connie:

Help!  My organization is holding a major community open house this weekend and I still need 90 volunteers to help with crowd flow, set-up, ticket taking, etc.  Where can I find this many volunteers quickly?


Dear BB: 

You have a secret weapon right in your own back yard – your subscribers, patrons, visitors, funders, etc.  When we’re recruiting, especially for a quick turnaround, many of us “forget” that we have a family of supporters who already know and love us.  Send out an email to this group and explain your situation and needs, being careful to assure them this is a one-time volunteer opportunity.  They aren’t obligated to continue to volunteer unless they wish to do so.  And, don’t forget about them the next time you’re doing a regular recruiting campaign.  Good luck!

Dear Connie:

I have been assigned the task of creating and heading up an Employee Volunteer Recognition Program for our company of approximately 250 employees.  Employees are involved in a wide range of volunteer activities.  Management has requested that I come up with a way to promote volunteerism by employees, track and record the hours volunteered (regardless of the charity or organization), and initiate a recognition program.  I have buy-in from top management, but little direction.  As far as organizing all of this, I’m at a loss.  The responsibility fell to me because I am the “public affairs” department.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

L. S.

Dear L.S.:  

Based on your description, it sounds to me like you're organizing an employee volunteer program that has recognition as just one element.  I have two suggestions. 

First, "begin with the end in mind."  What do you want the program to look like?  How do you want to access the information you gather?  How will you use the information you gather?  What will employees get out of it?  What will management get out of it?  What will the community get out of it?  Focus on the overall parameters of the program and then build one piece at a time.  man in volunteer t-shirt

Second, get employee input.  Form a small task force of employees to help you organize the program.  Employee volunteers will be your best resource for information and guidance on what's important to them and how you can gather information most effectively. 

Finally, I suggest that you contact the Points of Light Foundation www.pointsoflight.org so that you can take advantage of the services and resources they provide through their Corporate Institute.  They know all about employee volunteer programs and I'm sure they can help you get started!

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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 25 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 AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
314 E. Marie Dr. * Stillwater, OK 74075 * VOICE: 405.372.8142 or 202-306-1492

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