Volunteers are awesome. So the July 5 Net Tuesday is gonna focus on volunteer coordination.
Volunteers are awesome, but the relationship between a nonprofit and a volunteer can be tricky.
VOLUNTEERS: Maybe the nonprofit never got back to you? Maybe the job they offered kinda sucked?
VOLUNTEER COORDINATORS: Are your volunteers creating a ridiculous pile of administrative paperwork and overhead? Can you find volunteers with the right skills? Why is this so hard?
Net Tuesday can’t solve all your volunteer-related challenges. We aren’t MAGIC.
But we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeves that might help. Check this out:
DATE: Tuesday, July 5
TIME: Doors and (cash bar) booze at 5:30pm, Speakers at 6:00pm, Ends at 7:30pm
LOCATION: Pull Focus film school. 306 Abbott St (upstairs)
WHO’S TALKING? ABOUT WHAT?
ITEM: Volunteers for Salesforce
Elijah van der Giessen (Net Tuesday and David Suzuki Foundation) gives a demo of a free (for charities) application that helps manage volunteers and their hours, and creates forms to allow volunteer and job signup on your website.
An overview of the software: http://groundwire.org/labs/volunteers-for-salesforce
21 volunteer management systems compared: http://www.idealware.org/volunteer_management
Do you need an integrated database? http://www.idealware.org/tips/tracking_volunteers
But technology can’t solve your problems. It just makes you more efficient!
The secret to a strong relationship is a hot three-way. Sweet love betwen you, the volunteer AND the organization. Sound tricky? Sometimes it can be. That’s why Net Tuesday is bringing in Trina Isakson, a consultant with both professional and academic expertise in volunteers.
ITEM: Trina Isakson on how technology can help or hinder effective volunteer engagement
Trina Isakson recently completed masters research that examines effective leadership of volunteers, and is excited to discuss how technology can help or hinder good volunteer engagement. She is passionate about non-profit capacity, engaged citizenship, community development and education. Through volunteer activities and consulting and training work with 27 Shift, she helps non-profit organizations and universities strategically engage their next generation of employees, volunteers and donors.
For the research, I interviewed a series of nonprofit staff/board members who had been identified as effectively engaging volunteers. None of the orgs had any problems (or even made much effort) recruiting volunteers, and more likely had to restrict the number of volunteers.
While the final results of my paper focused on leadership, the themes that arose from analyzing the interview transcripts I think are most interesting. Examples include:
- volunteers were seen as peers and professionals, not subordinates
- volunteer engagement was seen as everyone’s role in the organiztion (i.e. not just for a ‘volunteer coordinator’)
- the organizations and individuals had a strong culture of learning and change
- while they had volunteers that had to leave their roles/didn’t show to meetings etc., interviewees accepted this as a reality of the volunteers’ busy lives and adapted their volunteer engagement practices/scheduling to plan for this
306 Abbott St (near Cordova)
Vancouver, BC V6B 2K9
See you on Tuesday!
Net Tuesday Vancouver