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.   
Quick Tip for Leading Volunteers

Diagnosing Your Public Image Before Recruiting Volunteers
The following quick tip is excerpted from the book The Volunteer Recruitment (and Membership Development) Book 3rd Edition by Susan J. Ellis. 

When you ask someone to volunteer, you are asking him or her to affiliate with your organization. This means that people, whether consciously or not, will assess whether your organization has an image that matches their self-image.

Put another way, prospective volunteers must be able to picture themselves working with you. There are several mental pictures at work, such as the image of the overall organization. Before you can design any volunteer recruitment campaign, you must have an accurate assessment of how the public perceives your organization. Is this perception accurate or not? Is this perception positive or negative? Read more...
March Hot Topic
By Energize Staff

Happy Birthday to Energize's Founder and a Volunteer Management Pioneer

The Energize staff hijacks the Volunteer Management Hot Topic from Energize founder Susan J. Ellis to commemorate her 70th birthday. Join us in capturing this moment to acknowledge Susan's impact on the field of volunteerism. Read this Month's Hot Topic.  
You can subscribe to the Hot Topic as a podcast or  RSS text feed.

News from the Field
Application Deadline Approaches for Service Unites Scholarship
Deadline: March 9, 2018
Leaders of volunteers have only a few days left to apply for the Jill Friedman Fixler Professional Development Scholarship, offered by Points of Light for attending the June 2018 Service Unites conference in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Service Unites, formerly called the Conference on Volunteering and Service, is the world's largest service-related gathering, bringing together more than 2,500 nonprofit, government, business and civic leaders to gain and share knowledge, resources, and connections needed to galvanize the power of people.

Scholarship candidates must inspire and engage volunteers, be committed to the field of volunteer engagement, and demonstrate financial need in attending the conference. Applications are due by 5 p.m. EST on March 9, 2018.  
2018 Volunteer Management Progress Report 

Learn what over 1,000 volunteer management pros from 12 countries said about their work, salary, & satisfaction. This free 45-page report includes charts and analysis of responses in this year's survey.    

The survey is a project of Tobi Johnson & Associates | VolunteerPro in partnership with Trina Willard at Knowledge Advisory Group and Pam Kappelides at La Trobe University. 

Spotlight on Resources

Recognition Ideas: Tips from Colleagues

National events for recognizing volunteers are around the corner. Each year leaders of volunteers search online for ideas for special events or creative ways to show volunteers appreciation. At Energize, we value the input of our volunteer management colleagues and have continuously asked leaders of volunteers to share their ideas with us. We've created an area in our A-Z Volunteer Management Library just for storing this "collective wisdom."  Visit this area of our site to find new ideas or share your own! We'd love to hear from you. 
e-Volunteerism The Electronic Journal of the Volunteer Community
New Articles Available
Volume XVIII, Issue 2  
e-Volunteerism, our international, subscription-based journal, is now on it's 18th volume year. As always, all previous journal issues are available to subscribers online in the Archives.

Free Access this Month 
From the Archives 
Does the Emperor Have Clothes? A Closer Look at Employee Volunteering -  In this 2005 Points of View article, Susan J. Ellis and Steve McCurley take a stab at closely examining workplace volunteering ...and arrive at different  conclusions. See if your take on  corporate social responsibility agrees. Has it  changed since 2005? 
From the Current Issue

I n this issue's  Points of View,   Rob Jackson and Erin R. Spink raise important questions about the concept of legacy in the volunteer engagement profession. They present three reasons to explain why there is often a disconnect between the purpose and the impact of volunteer management work, and they challenge everyone to take action now to define a better legacy in the year ahead.  

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

Volunteers and Sexual Health Projects - In this Along the Web, Arnie Wickens looks into some of the projects and programs around the world that incorporate volunteers to try to inform and educate others concerning sexual health, often challenging sexual health misconceptions in their efforts to improve the lives of others.  
Bring Out the Extraordinary Through Continuous Improvement - What's one way to increase the effectiveness of an organization that wants to involve volunteers in meaningful ways? In this e-Volunteerism feature, volunteer management experts Melanie Merrill and Ruth Leonard of Macmillan Cancer Support, London, write that in order to ensure continuous improvement of the volunteer experience, those who manage volunteers need to be well prepared, supported, and developed. 
What's Coming Up?
Still to come this month in e-Volunteerism: Meridian Swift, a well-known volunteer manager, author, and blogger, explores why training should be embraced to influence a volunteer's future commitment; writer Allyson Drinnon shares stories from individuals about how they used "International Volunteer Day" to recognize volunteers; and Laurie Mook in Research to Practice
 reviews a study on why do volunteers break the rules. 
As always, the articles from all 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 previous volume years.
Quotes For and About Volunteers
Find and share your favorite quotes about volunteers and volunteering so that others can add a spark to their presentations!  Also look at the other categories of "Quotables": poems, humor, songs, stories, and parables.   
QTipQuick Tip Continued...

To assess the overall image of your organization, Consider these questions:
  • How long have you been in existence?
  • Has this history been one of continuous success and growth or have there been public setbacks, funding problems, changes in administration?
  • What is your general reputation in the community?
  • What are your major sources of funding? (And what, in turn, is the image of those funders?)
  • Have you been involved in any controversy in the past few years? In your distant past? (People's memories are amazingly long.)
  • Why haven't you been involved in controversy? (Might your image be one of playing it safe and traditional?)
  • Are you perceived as rich? As struggling?
  • Do you own or occupy nice quarters?
  • Is your neighborhood perceived as safe or not?
  • What is the age of your staff?
  • What is the sex of your staff?
  • What is the racial and ethnic makeup of your staff?
  • What professions are represented on the staff?
  • How long a waiting period is there for service?
  • How friendly are your reception desk staff and your telephone operators?
  • How visible are volunteers currently to the public?
  • What is the demographic make-up of the volunteer corps? (For example, if you are now actively seeking male volunteers, is the image of your organization one of women and is this correct or a stereotype?)
  • How often do you change anything? Are you perceived as open to suggestions? Flexible?
  • Whom do you serve? (This may be a trick question!)
There are no right or wrong answers to the above questions. The clearer you become about the image of your organization, the better you will be at targeting the types of people who would feel comfortable in affiliating with you. Build on any positive public perceptions. Show people how volunteering continues a tradition of respected service. Make a great reputation work for you! Conversely, by understanding that some elements of your image may be potentially negative, you can address the possible concerns of prospective volunteers from the beginning.

A negative image is not insurmountable. In fact, some volunteers are attracted by the idea that they can problem-solve or counteract a prejudicial situation. During my years with the Philadelphia Family Court, half the crime in Pennsylvania occurred in Philadelphia and half the crime in Philadelphia was perpetrated by juveniles. No one in Philadelphia thought the Court was doing a good job of dealing with delinquents or with families in domestic crisis. When I went out to recruit volunteers, I had to understand that my audiences were, at best, skeptical and, at worst, hostile. Could I act as though I already had support? Of course not. But I could begin my presentations with thoughts like: "I'll bet you never expected to hear someone from the Court asking for help," or "Even if you want the system to change, we still have 17,000 teenagers going through it right now and you can make a difference for a few of them." You get the point.

book cover
This Leading Volunteers Quick Tip comes from The Volunteer Recruitment (and Membership Development) Book by Susan J. Ellis
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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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