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October 2018
Quick Tip for Leading Volunteers

Training Leadership Volunteers for Special Events

When orienting and training the leaders of an event, we often make the assumption that the lead individuals know all about the organization and have the skills to plan and stage an event. In fact, no one comes with these precise skills unless they have previously led a similar event. Even then there is no guarantee that they had a good experience. So, these event volunteers who make up the steering committee need training and orientation to avoid trial-and-error efforts resulting in many wasted hours. Continue...
Get more great tips and ideas like this from the many resources in our Online Bookstore
Hot Topic

Leaders of Volunteers: Stop Being So Bloody Nice!

By Rob Jackson
Rob Jackson explains why he strongly feels leaders of volunteers need to take off the halo once in a while!

Read or listen to this month's Hot Topic.
e-Volunteerism Online Journal

Free-Access Articles

"Laddering" in Volunteer Management: What It Is, and Why It May Be Important  - Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink consider the importance of "laddering" in the volunteer management profession; that is, "the opportunity to report to someone more senior than you who is also a leader of volunteers."
Designing a Strategy for Persuasion - Betty Stallings is convinced that the ability to persuade and influence is at the heart of successful leadership of these endeavors. She takes you step-by-step through the process of developing your own persuasion strategy.

New Postings for Subscribers

Voices For Something New: The National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement - Allyson Drinnon hears from some of the people active in the new National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement movement. They explain why this collective action at the national level will advance the power and potential of volunteer engagement.

Upcoming Articles

Happy Birthday, e-VolunteerismThe next issue, which launches on October 15, 2018, begins our 19th year of continuous electronic publication for volunteer leaders around the world. When we began in 2000, we were the first and only electronic publication for the field, combining the best of a printed professional journal with the explosive potential of Internet technology. Today, our prime mission is still the same – to inform and challenge leaders of volunteers. We proudly continue this mission in Volume XIX, Issue 1, as we present the following:

  • a Points of View discussion on the risk of volunteerism shortfalls due to our changing societies;
  • a Research to Practice review of the "super volunteer" and implications for volunteer management;
  • "Standing on the Outside Looking In," a feature story by a volunteer manager who became a volunteer;
  • and so much more!
Online Volunteer Management Training
The Everyone Ready® program delivers quality volunteer management training, online and on-demand, via video seminars, self-instruction guides, audio recordings, and journal articles. Enrollment options include organizations, networks, and individual members.

Featured Topic for Members

Volunteers on The Continuum of Supporters
Our new "Take 20!" presentation explores the importance of integrating all supporters into your organization and breaking down those silos in which we tend to operate. Stop categorizing supporters and start cultivating them! 

Demonstration for Non-members

Demonstration of the Everyone Ready Program
Nov 15, 2018 1:00 PM EST - Sign up for a chance to look inside the Everyone Ready volunteer management training program. We'll provide a ten-minute demonstration of the program, including a look at the Learning Center with 40+ volunteer management topics. When we are done, you can ask your questions! Registration required.
News in the Field
11th Annual Volunteer Coordinators Conference
Sioux Falls, SD
Organizational Sponsor: Sioux Empire DOVIA

Does your current volunteer program need some rejuvenation? Join the 11th Annual Volunteer Managers Conference hosted by DOVIA of the Sioux Empire to learn how to revitalize your volunteer program.

Become a Certified Service Enterprise
The Service Enterprise Initiative is a national initiative led by Points of Light that strengthens the capacity of nonprofits to fundamentally leverage volunteers and their skills to address community needs. Learn more about becoming an organization that fundamentally leverages volunteers and their skills to achieve its social mission by visiting the Points of Light Service Enterprise website
Quick Tip (continued)
Since these lead volunteers will be important ambassadors for your organization, they need to know as much about its mission and services as possible. This information could be reviewed as a part of the initial planning meeting of the task force and backed up with written materials, particularly for those with limited background with your agency. Other training topics for this group may cover such things as:
  • meeting management
  • communication avenues
  • approaches for donations
  • design of activity pert charts
  • volunteer recruitment, interviewing, supervision and recognition.

If the event has been held before, the prior year's reports will be helpful. Videotaping an event provides a particularly helpful medium for orienting new folks. And for those who have participated in the event before, the video is fun to watch and gives them renewed energy for the event. If there are people who are new to the event, you may want to cover the essentials of good event planning by providing summaries of good articles and books on the topic or through training videos. My favorite is a videotape on Special Events by Kim Klein, available from The Headwaters Fund (see resources).

A new method I recommend to provide the steering committee with guidance is using an event coach. This person does not put on the event for the organization but is an experienced event planner available to the steering committee for a certain number of hours to consult on planning and staging the event. This is an excellent way to train internal talent while keeping costs down. If people know they will have a coach available to them, they are more apt to agree to become volunteer leaders. Too often, event volunteers are not adequately supported by the organization and all are disappointed in the result.

From How to Produce Fabulous Fundraising Events, by Betty Stallings & Donna McMillion, Building Better Skills, 1999, pp. 49-51. Permission is granted to reprint this excerpt. Reprints must include all citations and the statement: "Found in the Energize online library at"

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Energize, Inc. has been on the Web since 1997  offering over 1200 pages of information about successfully involving volunteers in your efforts. Visit our site to learn all about volunteer engagement techniques; find ways to connect with colleagues; gain insight into trends, issues, and even controversy in the field; locate conferences and other professional development opportunities; and more!
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