Energize is delighted to share the news that BoardSource and Points of Light have announced a new Board Member of the Month Award. We have long promoted the idea that board members are, in fact, volunteers and should be recognized as such.
Many of the tried and true practices for recruiting volunteers apply to building the best board of directors possible, including looking for an individual that has the specific skills you need and personally inviting someone to serve. That’s why we were delighted to see that LinkedIn, the online network for professionals, announced a new service to help nonprofits recruit board members.
What do nonprofit and public sector leaders need to know to work effectively with volunteers? Find out in Strategic Volunteer Engagement: A Guide for Nonprofit and Public Sector Leaders, now available in paperback in the Energize online bookstore!
Nonprofits are governed by boards of directors comprised mainly of volunteers and, as the Penn State scandal proves, they are not always effective. Why are volunteer resource managers so rarely asked to help in recruiting, training, recognizing, or otherwise helping the board to function?
501Videos (www.501videos.com) is a video production company owned by Christopher Davenport, a successful documentary producer. His interest is in presenting his video production services to nonprofits and he’s found a unique way to market his services that also provides useful resources. 501Videos offers a weekly series of free, short (3 to 5 minutes) videos called "Movie Mondays."
Although promoted as "for Fundraising Professionals" and focused on increasing financial donations, the videos cover many different topics, including board management, community outreach, and donor relations. For example, the topic last week was "The New Look of Board Meetings (for creating high performing boards)," dealing with how to prepare for and structure meeting agendas for more effective board interaction.
A new topic appears every Monday and that’s the point. When you sign up, you get notices by e-mail of the new topic and log in for one week of access to the newest video.
“Volunteers Donate, On Average, 10 Times More Money than Non-Volunteers.” That’s a headline sure to get the attention of anyone in the not-for-profit world. It’s just one of the important findings in a recent study released on December 3 by the Fidelity® Charitable Gift Fund and VolunteerMatch. The findings support Energize’s long-held stance that volunteer-involving organizations should remember their “time donors” when looking to support volunteer involvement financially. In 1996, Energize President Susan J. Ellis wrote in her best-selling book From the Top Down, “studies have shown that satisfied volunteers frequently are so supportive of the organizations with which they serve that they become donors of money and goods as well.”
When revising her book, Susan greatly expanded her take on the connection between volunteering and donating funds. Here’s an excerpt from the soon-to-be released 3rd edition of From the Top Down: The Executive Role in Successful Volunteer Involvement.
Now we want to hear from you, since a blog is all about interaction. So we’ll pose a question that we plan to continue as a feature of this blog:
What book that is not specifically about managing volunteers has helped you most in your work?
To put it in another way – we all know volunteer management is as much an art as it is a science. You can have a targeted recruitment campaign, airtight interviewing and screening, and a perfect policy and procedure manual – and still have reluctant or dismissive paid staff, personality clashes and power plays among volunteers, and a headache at the end of the day. What books have helped you with the “art” of successfully leading volunteers, even if the author didn’t know that would be what you would take away?
Here are some starter suggestions, along with links to where you can learn more about each book on Amazon.com.