For leaders of volunteers and volunteer involvement, updates on news from the field, new volunteer management resources, and a monthly quick tip about successfully engaging volunteers.   
TopQTipWhen the Volunteer Is a Celebrity

One of the unique books we sell in our Online Bookstore is Patrons, Presidents and Personalities: Working with high-level volunteers by UK colleague Eileen Hammond. She distinguishes a range of well-known people from political or entertainment fame to those of formal stature to others who are simply famous for their personalities. She notes that "the concept of high-profile figures lending their support to charitable causes is not new. Charles Dickens certainly did his bit to raise awareness of the plight of the poor in nineteenth-century London...Indeed, in the modern sense, Dickens could be said to be one of the first celebrity supporters when, as a result of his endorsement, Great Ormond Street Hospital doubled in size from the proceeds of one fundraising event."  Read more...
February Hot Topic
By Susan J. Ellis, President Energize, Inc.

Don't Forget Volunteers as Part of the Solution to
2017 Nonprofit Challenges
Susan responds to The NonProfit Times' article, "Nonprofit Workplace Challenges Predicted for 2017," pointing out how volunteers can and should be integrated into any organization's strategic planning to react to change. What do you predict for the coming year?   Read this Month's Hot Topic.  
You can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or  RSS text feed - or listen to the audio online.

News from the Field
2017 National Summit on
Volunteer Engagement Leadership
July 26-28, 2017
St. Paul, MN

Several of us from Energize and Everyone Ready® will be presenting and selling books at this important event.  Join us! 

When you register, you can download the graphic shown here and post it to your social media sites to let everyone know.

Help promote the Summit on Twitter. Copy and paste the following:
#LOVols, mark your calendars: early-bird registration to @MAVANetwork's #2017NationalSummit for #VolMgmt begins 2/17! #MappingtheFuture
Spotlight on Resources
Worldwide Sharing of Volunteer Leadership Experience
Energize has always been committed to finding and sharing the best materials on how to work with volunteers, regardless of setting or geographic location - although we do limit our offerings to things written in the English language. If you're skeptical that the skills of our profession are quite universal, here are some new and continuing books from outside North America that may convince you!

The Complete Volunteer Management Handbook 
From the UK: This is the Anglicized version of Steve McCurley and Rick Lynch's best-selling American book, Volunteer Management: Mobilizing All the Resources of the Community -- the most widely utilized text in the world on the theory and practice of managing a volunteer program. We are delighted to now offer the e-book edition in our store for colleagues from the UK and other countries with British roots, particularly in Australasia. In 2012, Rob Jackson became a third author, specifically to insure that language and examples were fully relevant to UK readers.

It's Tough at the Top, 2ND EDITION
From the UK: Revised and updated for 2017! The author, an experienced executive at several UK charities, observes that most people become senior managers without necessarily being prepared for the human elements the role demands. So she tackles "what they don't tell you" about leadership at the senior level, blending theory, practical advice, and humor - and the importance of treating employees and volunteers equally.

Take Your Partner for the Corporate Tango
From Australia: Clear guide to community/corporate collaboration, including how to prepare, choose a suitable partner, assure a successful working relationship, and other practical do's and don'ts.

Patrons, Presidents and Personalities
From the UK: This unique guidebook tackles the thorny issue of working with celebrities who volunteer to endorse or fundraise for your organization. See Susan's Quick Tip in this Update for an excerpt from this book!

Volunteer Management - How and Why?
From Denmark: A holistic, organizational approach to strategically engaging volunteers in associations or agencies -- which the authors categorize into four organizational types, each involving volunteers in distinctly different ways.

You Cannot Be Serious! A Guide to Involving Volunteers with Mental Health Problems
From the UK: Packed with practical information, stories, tools and resources, this guide provides support and advice for making organizations more socially inclusive and including individuals with mental health problems as volunteers.

e-Volunteerism The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community
New Articles Available 
Volume XVII, Issue 2

Free Access this Month 
From the Current Issue

The Professional Responsibility to Have and Share Opinions  - Susan and Rob explain why and how a strong profession like volunteer management must advocate for its beliefs, and why members have a professional responsibility to seize opportunities to express their educated opinions. Doing so empowers individual volunteer managers and will move the field forward more quickly and effectively than is happening right now.

Subscriber Access Only  
( Subscribe for a full year or 48-hour access)
New Postings Since the Last Update

It's Time to Update the Volunteer Engagement Cycle
Canadian colleague Jill Jukes argues that it's time to update how organizations plan and prepare for volunteer involvement, which does not always reflect current trends and realities. She proposes an entirely new Volunteer Engagement Cycle, Version 2.0, "that renames and reimagines how organizations plan and prepare for volunteer engagement."

In this special Voices, Allyson Drinnon of Habitat for Hu manity
International reports from the field at the International Association 
for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference  that took place in Mexico City, November 2016. With reports and on-the-spot audio interviews, she presents an array of diverse voices and opinions from the international volunteer community, capturing thoughts on issues, challenges, and ideas. Read and listen.

One resource to identify what motivates individuals to volunteer is the
Volunteer Functions Inventory (VFI), first proposed in 1998 by Gil Clary and Mark Snyder. In this Research to Practice article, guest contributor Tonya Howard Calhoun looks at a study that provides an online VFI for volunteers working for different NGOs and NPOs in Saudi Arabia. The study not only illuminates the effectiveness of the use of VFI instrument across cultures, but also confirms that the VFI can enhance volunteer management in many settings.

What's Coming Up? 

Volume XVII, Issue 2 of e-Volunteerism launched in mid-January with the articles describe above.  Still to come this quarter are articles on: a social enterprise in the UK called Good Deed Dating that coordinates volunteer events for single people; an interview with Betty Stallings sharing her tips on how to be an effective speaker and trainer; an Along the Web look at how volunteers are bridging the digital divide; and how to differentiate between boards, councils, committees, and advisory groups.

As always, the articles from past issues remain available in the journal
Archives .
You can subscribe to e-Volunteerism  for a full year or for 48-hour access. Note that subscribers have full access to the Archives of all 16 previous volume years.
Copyright-free Graphics about Volunteerism
Did you know we have created copyright-free graphics to use as you wish in motivating volunteers? Visit our Pinterest page to see this board and more images we collect for you. Visit today.
QTipSusan's Quick Tip Continued...

Hammond is very clear that no matter how famous or wealthy the celebrities you recruit might be, when they agree to volunteer for you, all the principles of good volunteer management apply, as well as the policies developed for those serving in less public capacities. The following is excerpted/adapted from chapter 7, "How do you manage them?"  

Who's in control? 
It must be borne in mind that a charity's prime objective must be the advancement of its cause. Anything which detracts from that is to be avoided at all costs. However, it has to be recognized that the relationship between a charity and its high-profile volunteers needs to be one of mutual control in which the charity determines what it wants the personality to do, but the personality decides whether or not they are willing to do it. Therefore, before any relationship can be finalized, it is essential that both parties are very clear as to what exactly is expected.

Clarifying expectations on both sides
Do you know what you want them to do?
In managing your high-level volunteers, have a clear idea of the precise duties which you would like them to perform and talk this through with them. Ensure that you reach a firm agreement about:
  • the form of their involvement - in other words, their role;
  • the time commitment that is expected from them;
  • the back up and support that your charity is to provide;
  • the hoped-for outcome of their association with you.
...You might prefer to make the appointment time-limited. This does have certain advantages for both parties, in that it gives protection for you if the personality should fade from the public eye or if he or she becomes controversial in some way. It also relieves the personality from the somewhat daunting commitment of signing up for an ongoing role from which it could be embarrassing to disentangle themselves should their circumstances change.

Do they know what they are supposed to do?
The importance of a written agreement of some kind cannot be too highly stressed, even if this takes the form of a simple letter confirming what has been agreed in telephone conversations, meetings or emails with the personalities or their agents. Such a letter should serve to clarify the expectations on both sides including such issues as levels of support and PR opportunities...[I]f your personality will be engaging in high-profile activities such as appearing on television on your behalf, it is desirable to have a formal contract in relation to that specific activity.

Other issues upon which clarity is essential include:
  • when and in what context the charity can use the personality's name;
  • the circumstances in which the personality can refer to their association with the charity;
  • whether the personality will provide images for fundraising materials;
  • the personality's willingness or otherwise to work with the local media, make personal appearances at fundraising events or even go on overseas visits.
Providing the necessary support
We should never fall into the trap of assuming that personalities belong to a separate category of volunteer for the purposes of the treatment they receive at our hands. Take, for instance, the question of expenses. If the duties which a personality is undertaking for you necessitate an overnight stay, a meal or a journey, it would be unreasonable to assume that, because of their lifestyle, they will expect to bear the cost themselves - unless, of course, they offer to do so. To make such an assumption could well give offence to the personality and embarrassment to the charity. Similarly, it would be unreasonable for the personality to present the charity with an unexpected bill for an overnight stay at the Ritz and the cost of a chauffeur-driven Rolls after a brief visit to one of your projects.
Even if the personality concerned is to 'host' an event, it is your job to assist them in that task by playing host to them, ensuring their comfort throughout the function and, very importantly, ensure that they are able to leave on time - if necessary, by restricting the number of autograph signings and personal approaches from people who wish to meet them. Put simply, 'stand in their shoes' and make their task as comfortable and pleasurable as possible - that way, they might volunteer their services again.

Above all, remember that you have a responsibility to protect two reputations - that of your charity and that of your personality. Neglect either at your peril.

For much more about the benefits and challenges of working with famous volunteers, get your copy of Patrons, Presidents and Personalities by Eileen Hammond today!

This Quick Tip comes from Susan J. Ellis, President of Energize, Inc. 
Want more of Susan's Wisdom?  Read her books.
You'll find them in our Online Bookstore

Energize, Inc. has been on the Web s ince 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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