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Workshops About Volunteerism

Are we volunteer ready?

Volunteers can be the cornerstone of assisting a nonprofit in delivering its services to clients and participating in activities such as fundraising. Using the skills and talents of volunteers helps to build capacity and extend a nonprofits reach into the community.

This workshop will enable nonprofits to examine their potential for using volunteers and/or to assess their current volunteer program. The ability to use episodic, pro bono, and consultant volunteers will help to extend the reach of any nonprofits capabilities. Using volunteer program quality assurance standards, participants will be able to assess their volunteer ready potential.

Is Your Nonprofit On The Right Track?

How do you know if you are on the right track if you do not know where you want to go? One proven method of keeping an organization on track is to develop a solid vision of where you want to be. To begin a successful trip, you must know why you exist and what priorities will take you to your vision. Thorough first steps will keep you on the right track.

The ability to articulate a vision for a nonprofit and understand how various programs are an integral part reaching an organization’s mission is a key competitive skill. Examining the trends, history, and what stakeholders think will enable a nonprofit to establish priorities and methods of measurement of success.

Managing Volunteer Expectations

The ability to manage expectations is central to a well functioning volunteer program. Examining why a volunteer’s performance is not up to expectations is one of the more difficult duties of a manager of a volunteer program or staff supervising volunteers.

How do you determine where the performance problem began, how do you determine what to do, and how do you approach and work with the volunteer are areas that are key to a positive outcome.

When performance is not properly managed, it can affect everyone in the organization. Performance management allows volunteers to be successful in all their endeavors. Consequently, managers of volunteer programs or staff supervising volunteers need to be able to not only recognize poor performance and work with the volunteer but also to recognize good performance and praise the volunteer. This workshop will cover several components of effective performance management and present a method for analyzing performance.

Professional Ethics In Managing Volunteers and Non-Profit Programs

There are six ethical areas, developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics, which can assist managers of volunteer resources and nonprofits in handling a variety of ethical issues. If a nonprofit does not have an ethical compass to guide it, the unimaginable can happen. The key to a well run nonprofit is to have that compass in front of all paid and volunteer staff as well as members of the board of directors at all times.

Ethics not only applies to the nonprofit as a whole but is ideally used in the decision- making process. This workshop will cover each of the core ethical areas, assist participants in establishing guiding principles, and discuss the importance of using these when making decisions.

Managing Those Who Serve

Designed for nonprofits, the intricacies of managing staff in a nonprofit setting will be examined. How to deal with employees when their performance is not up to expectation is one of the more difficult duties of a manager, supervisor, or a board president.

How do you determine where the performance problem began, how do you determine what to do, and how do you approach and work with the individual areas that are key to a positive outcome. This workshop will cover several components of effective performance management and present a method for analyzing performance for paid and volunteer staff members including boards.

Using a systematic performance management process, the workshop will help participants understand what setting people up for success looks like, how to hold people responsible and accountable as well empowering them. It will also help in determining the causes of poor performance.

Measuring Program Outcomes: A First Look

You have a plan in place. You know what you want to do. Now how do you measure success? An understanding of inputs, activities, and outcomes will enable participants to examine their own organization and work toward measurable outcomes.

Today funders, donors, and other stakeholders in a nonprofit want to know what the nonprofit is accomplishing beyond numbers. Aspects such as gathering data and checking for success enable a nonprofit to adjust continuously for greater success. This session will enable participants to explore the basic concepts of outcome-based measurement for their programs.

Paid And Volunteer Staff Relationships

This should be an arrangement tailor made for a nonprofit. Often it is not. What causes problems in this relationship that is vital to an effective and efficient nonprofit? Why don’t paid staff accept volunteer staff? Why can’t they just get along?

In a time when resources are finite, the possibility of volunteers is not. Volunteers can be a critical component in service delivery for a nonprofit. A UPS survey noted, “People are more likely to volunteer when they feel an organization is well-managed and will make good use of their time.” Often volunteers are truly making a difference in the services a nonprofit presents in a community. Thus, it is critical to be very thoughtful about how to approach integrating volunteer staff in with paid staff. This relationship is important in order that a good productive environment is created that serves the nonprofit fully.

Recruiting, Managing, and Retaining Volunteers

Volunteers enhance the services that a nonprofit can provide its clients and they assist with the sustainability of programs. Volunteers enable a nonprofit to reach beyond its internal resources to encompass the community through the use of volunteer resources.

According to several studies, individuals will volunteer and stay with nonprofits where they are well managed. The ability to recruit and retain volunteers is an important resource for any nonprofit endeavor. This workshop will enable attendees to learn various aspects of managing volunteer resources. It will also include information about the latest trends, recruitment, and integrating volunteer programs into the overall mission of the nonprofit.

For a complete list please contact us:

Phone: 512-515-0580
Fax: 512-515-0590
E-mail: Kathleen McCleskey

E-mail: Bob McCleskey

Review of ‘A Conversation With a Purpose’

This is a reprint of a review of my book ‘A Conversation With a Purpose: A Practical Guide To Interviewing Prospective Volunteers’, from the March 2010 edition of Volunteering Magazine and reprinted with permission.

A Conversation With a Purpose: A Practical Guide To Interviewing Prospective VolunteersWe liked the layout of this book, which is written by Kathleen McCleskey and Cheryle N Yallen.

It is divided up into eight clear and concise chapters and is packed with practical advice and tools and techniques.

The worksheets, forms to use, and mock dialogue for an interview are likely to be particularly useful.

In Getting Started, the authors outline some of the key elements they believe must be in place before the interview gets under way. This might seem like stating the obvious but it really does give structure to this process. The authors also examine the importance of motivation and communication.

In the chapter ‘The Participants’, McCleskey and Yallen look at expectations and how the potential volunteer can actually make a difference to the organisation and who in the organisation is involved in the interview process.

“The key to interviewing is ensuring the interviewer, whether paid or volunteer, is properly trained in effective interviewing skills.”

‘Interviewer Traps’ turns the spotlight on to possible barriers, including the ‘halo effect’ which happens when the potential volunteer has something in common with the interviewer, or stereotyping when the interviewer allows their own prejudices to impact on the interview, with first impressions generally formed in the first 30 seconds of the interview.

Another common trap is language, when someone may be ‘verbally affluent’ and using too much ‘agency jargon’. Time is also picked out by the authors as a crucial factor. They believe the downfalls here are because interviews are sometimes squeezed into whatever slots are available
in the day or hastily put together.

The authors go on to examine the potential volunteer and aspects such as their concerns about the interviewer or organisation if they have not done their research ahead of the interview.