The Bureau of Labor Statistics tells us that the overall rate of volunteering has dropped by 0.3 percent, with the steepest decline occurring in the age group of 45-67, but is this really the whole story?
It’s easy to say that “people are the core of any volunteer-involving organization,” but do top managers act as though they understand and mean this sentiment? Two new books explore what it really means to engage volunteers as individuals.
A new book, The Abundant Not-for-Profit, introduces the concept of knowledge philanthropists: time donors “who volunteer primarily with their head, by contributing what they know.” Consider how organizations can vastly increase their capacity (even in a poor economy) by engaging volunteers with any and all professional skills.
We’re delighted to be generating a lot of responses from many different colleagues in various countries to my January Hot Topic, Should We Cap the Number of Hours a Volunteer May Serve Each Week? One of our most active responders to the blog, Hillary Roberts of Blankie Depot, just sent me a direct e-mail and then gave permission to share it. She makes several important points, especially about how often we in the volunteer management field forget the huge all-volunteer world out there and how we are missing the opportunity to advocate more effectively for volunteer value.
An indescribable hurricane and a fierce presidential election in the same week! These two very different situations are both eliciting an outpouring of volunteer time and effort. Susan analyzes the implications for calmer times from the perspective of volunteer leadership.
This weekend I curled up with an unusual new light-reading book. Crystal Hickerson’s novel, The Volunteer, is a fictional account of hospice volunteering and one of the major characters is – yes! – the manager of volunteer resources. In fact this VRM is a handsome, divorced guy (well, this is a fantasy) to whom the young, single heroine volunteer is quite attracted. The feeling is mutual and, without being a spoiler, the twists and turns of the story lead to many places, including sex and love. (This may do wonders for our image as goody two-shoes!)
Digital photography, social media sites, and smartphone technology have made the posting and exchange of all sorts of candid snapshots an everyday activity for many. Are you taking and using photographs of volunteers effectively? Between now and August 24th, VolunteerMatch is running its #WhyIVolunteer Photo Contest. Use the contest to spark interest in taking volunteering pictures -- and be sure to ask all volunteers to send YOU their contest entries, too.
I recently had the privilege of spending an intensive four days with volunteerism colleagues in Singapore (my fifth visit since 2001) on behalf of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVCP) there. Singapore is a small country, but amazingly multicultural and multi-lingual. Over the last decade, NVCP has focused on encouraging more intentional giving of time and money in both formal and informal ways. I learned about many interesting things during my most recent stay, and want to share three of them here.
As serious as our work is, it is also frequently very funny. So why is it so hard to find witty stories, cartoons, and other forms of humor focused on life in nonprofits, government, and volunteer management?
Energize has been finding links to humor and sharing funny stories from our site visitors for years and we can always count on board development expert Carol Weisman to make us laugh with her great newsletter, but we all now have a really wonderful, regular humor resource!
On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, VolunteerSpot launched a “Tiny Cars” campaign to fight for support of H.R. 387: Charitable Driving Tax Relief Act of 2011. Passage would mean an increase of the measly $.14 per mile tax deduction rate for charitable driving unchanged by the U.S. Congress since 1997. That’s compared to the 50 cents per mile deduction for business use of a personal vehicle in 2011. And the new bill would also no longer count such reimbursement to volunteers as gross income.