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Facilitating a Volunteer Organization

Successful Volunteer Organizations just don't Spontaneously Occur and Thrive
       It is the leadership of any nonprofit organization that establishing the principles and purpose of forming the organization. It is their vision and sense of purpose that must be communicated to the volunteers who usually are  the first to contact the public has with the organization! It’s is more efficient and the costs ratio to benefits demonstrates the desirability of retaining existing volunteers.

A constant turnover of volunteers is a RED FLAG!  Ignore this situation and
discover the pool of volunteers has shrunk below a sustainability level.

       Studies have found that two-fifths of individuals who stop volunteering for an organization are caused by one or more poor volunteer management practices:
  • Poor follow-through with volunteers,
  • Forgetting to thank them,
  • Poor communication,
  • Lack of support or training,
  • Unclear roles/poorly defined expectations and responsibilities,
  • Out-of-pocket costs.
  • Failure to consider volunteers as valuable assets.
       An excellent support device is a comprehensive workbook that is a "how to" step by step timeline of what needs to be accomplished.  Examples of correspondence, paper work, reports, and detailed budget should be included in the workbook.  Ideally each chairperson should have served as a second in charge in the prior year so they gain "on the job" experience.
      Guilt is a powerful motivating force". While it may be effective, it comes with a price -  resentment.
There are better ways to inspire people to become volunteers.

      In our stressful economic uncertainty there is a lessening of participation in leisure time activities, thus it has become extremely difficult to identify and retain volunteers who have dedication and willingness to commit for multiple years. Volunteers are key to the success of every non-profit organization.

What are appropriate ways to motivate volunteers?
       The following ideas are based on observations of organizations that have demonstrated different and successful approaches:     .

Positive Feedback is the best motivation

Give Regular Rewards and Recognition
        Effective forms of recognition and rewards include:
  • Certificates of appreciation
  • Five year, ten year, fifteen year pins/plaques
  • Outstanding volunteer reward in each department
  • Newsletter articles about the people who have contributed to the success of the organization.
  • Student interns - Some students will work for the experience to add to their resume when they graduate. Other students may be able to earn college credit.
  • Organization leaders need to spend time interacting with volunteers. The leadership must have a high commitment to volunteers and working with them.
  • Provide free food for volunteers who staff events
Training Sessions
        Send chairpersons to training seminars, workshops, and conferences so they can return and share the information with leadership of the organization and organize internal training sessions.

Provide Training for each volunteer position
Provide each volunteer with a mentor that can assist individuals who need help in getting up to speed as quickly as possible. There is nothing to be gained by anyone not succeeding. Be proactive and insure any volunteer doesn't become frustrated, discouraged, and quit in exasperation.

Coordinate with committee chairs
        Written progress reports by the committee chair should be communicated with the organization's leadership. The gathering of the information to prepare the report is an example of communication skills. This also is the time that feedback can be exchanges and resolution of potential problems be instigated.
Recommended Reading:

Dr Judy Esmond is a leading international expert on volunteering. Download her articles -

You can also read so many more of her ideas on volunteer management, recruiting and recognizing volunteers and and members by subscribing at

Microsoft Courses
        Links to PDF files of specific Microsoft Courses are listed below:

Microsoft Office
Excel 2010 Advanced
Excel 2010 Essentials
Excel 2010 Expert
Excel 365 Essentials
Groove 2007 Essentials
InfoPath 2007 Advanced
InfoPath 2007 Essentials
InfoPath 2010 Advanced
InfoPath 2010 Essentials
InfoPath 2010 Expert  (4/1/2013)
Lync 365 Essentials
OneNote 2007 Advanced
OneNote 2007 Essentials
OneNote 2010 Advanced
OneNote 2010 Essentials
OneNote 365 Essentials
Outlook 2007 Advanced
Outlook 2007 Essentials
Outlook 2010 Advanced
Outlook 2010 Essentials
Outlook 2010 Expert  (1/1/2013)
Outlook 365 Essentials
PowerPoint 2007 Advanced
PowerPoint 2007 Essentials
PowerPoint 2010 Advanced
PowerPoint 2010 Essentials
PowerPoint 2010 Expert  (12/1/2012)
PowerPoint 365 Essentials
Project 2007 Advanced
Project 2007 Essentials
Project 2010 Advanced
Project 2010 Essentials
Project 2010 Expert  (2/1/2013)
Publisher 2007 Advanced
Publisher 2007 Essentials
Publisher 2010 Advanced
Publisher 2010 Essentials
SharePoint 365 Essentials
SharePoint Designer 2007 Essentials
SharePoint Designer 2010 Essentials
Visio 2007 Advanced
Visio 2007 Essentials
Visio 2010 Advanced
Visio 2010 Essentials
Windows 7 Essentials
Word 2007 Advanced
Word 2007 Essentials
Word 2010 Advanced
Word 2010 Essentials
Word 2010 Expert
Word 365 Essentials

Soft Skills
Administrative Support
Anger Management
Assertiveness And Self-Confidence
Attention Management
Basic Bookkeeping
Body Language Basics
Budgets And Financial Reports
Business Ethics
Business Etiquette
Business Succession Planning
Business Writing
Call Center Training
Change Management
Civility In The Workplace
Coaching And Mentoring
Communication Strategies
Conflict Resolution
Creative Problem Solving
Critical Thinking
Customer Service
Delivering Constructive Criticism
Emotional Intelligence
Employee Motivation
Employee Onboarding
Employee Recruitment
Facilitation Skills
Generation Gaps
Human Resource Management
Interpersonal Skills
Job Search Skills
Leadership And Influence
Lean Process And Six Sigma
Manager Management
Managing Workplace Anxiety
Measuring Results From Training
Media And Public Relations
Meeting Management
Middle Manager
Negotiation Skills
Office Politics for Managers
Organizational Skills
Overcoming Sales Objections
Performance Management
Personal Productivity
Presentation Skills
Project Management
Proposal Writing
Public Speaking
Safety In The Workplace
Sales Fundamentals
Social Media in the Workplace
Stress Management
Supervising Others
Supply Chain Management
Talent Management
Teamwork And Team Building
Telework & Telecommuting  (1/1/2013)
Time Management
Virtual Team Building & Management  (12/1/2012)
Work-Life Balance
Workplace Diversity
Workplace Harassment
Workplace Violence


PDF Motivating Volunteers - University of Nevada  Motivating Volunteers. JoAnne Skelly, Carson City / Storey County Extension Educator. Roles of Volunteers. Volunteers are an important resource.

Understanding and Motivating Volunteers   May 2005 - When involved in a nonprofit organization, board members, committee chairs, and volunteers have individual behavioral styles that differ from their other work environments. To form more effective relationships, nonprofit leaders should adapt their behavioral style to complement their volunteers.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Focus of USFS Clubs
  Figure Skating Club Topics
Your Local Skating Club
Communicating with Club Members
Skating Workshop Plans
Special Olympians Program
Seminar Ideas & Topics
Amateur Ice Shows
Rink Facilities & Club Activities
Skating Events
Well Balanced Program Cards
How to Interpret 6.0 Scores    
Becoming A Judge 
PDF  Conflict Management
PDF  Personal Experience of home schooling
PDF  Financial Donations
PDF  Athlete Funding Opportunities
PDF  USFS Sponsorship Information

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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