June 11, 2008

#6: Volunteer Management

Volunteer management is obviously a huge aspect of what we do in associations and non-profits. As someone who has worked in volunteer management/component relations for the past two years, and has recently moved back to a communication-specific position, I have found that there are a number of things to keep in mind when doing volunteer management and component relations work.

1. Set expectations up front of both the staff member and volunteer.
2. Continually go back and examine whether you as a staff member and the volunteers are living up to the expectations that were set at the beginning.
3. Set goals that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) for your volunteers to accomplish.
4. Set up small wins for them to accomplish as they are working toward their goals.
5. Communicate regularly, but don't OVERcommunicate with volunteers.
6. Learn how to effectively utilize two-way communication - learn to LISTEN to your volunteers' needs.
7. Listen to Seth Godin's e-mail checklist when communicating with volunteers
8. Be sure to regularly recognize your volunteers with praise. (Remember to praise publicly and confront privately!)

Discussion Details:
  • Learning to manage volunteers is something that all of us as future association professionals need to know about, as it is an essential part of association work. Using the tips above, as well as some of the links below will help you to accomplish this.
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