In honor of National Volunteer Week, we've compiled a round-up of the Top 5 Volunteer posts on Apricot Jam (our curated collection of posts and articles on relevant topics for associations, non-profits and membership organizations).
Here are some of the most Delicious links we've bookmarked in our "Volunteers" category:
Get Creative and Say “Thank-you” to Volunteers
It’s National Volunteer Week and the HandsOnBlog reminds us that it “is a time to “celebrate people in action!” Volunteers contribute so much everyday to the community, with little or no recognition for the work that they do.
… This week is the perfect time to start showing your recognition for the work that your volunteers are doing. Whether you are a traditional thank-you note kind of person, or you like to spice things up a bit, we have an idea for you!
This post offers a list to help you "get inspired to celebrate the volunteers who make our community better everyday.”
5 Ways to Communicate the Meaning and Value of Your Volunteers’ Contribution
In this post, Shari Ilsen (Engaging Volunteers) suggests:
"much has been written about the motivations of volunteers and why they become volunteers in the first place. Identifying what drives and inspires volunteers has been recognized as a very important aspect for nonprofit organizations to keep in mind.
Many volunteers take up volunteering to add meaning to their lives. Most people intrinsically believe that the meaning of life has something to do with helping people, and volunteering can feel like you are in harmony with that.
…Being able to adequately communicate to your volunteers the meaning and value of their contribution to your organization can go a long way in developing successful volunteer retention policies and practices (rather than focusing on rewards and incentives as stimulus).
Ilsen offers “5 ways to communicate to your volunteers the meaning and value of their contribution."
Six Principles for Harnessing Volunteers' Talents
Jeffrey Cufaude (Idea Architects) quotes “author Bruce Tulgan (Winning the Talent Wars) [who] asserts, “In the new economy, the best people are the most likely to leave. Why? Because they can.” Perhaps this is why management guru Tom Peters says we must be obsessive about P.O.T., the Pursuit of Talent.”
Cufaude notes that “while Tulgan and Peters are both talking about paid staff in the new economy, associations and other organizations would be wise to note the relevance of their thinking for recruiting, developing, and rewarding volunteers. When competing for volunteer time and talent, organizations need to have compelling value propositions to offer.”
He offers a set of six principles “along with commentary on their relevance to volunteers as opposed to employees.”
Is Volunteering Worth It? The Economics of Generosity
In this Huffington Post article, Greg Baldwin (President of VolunteerMatch) notes that the Independent Sector recently published their statistics on the estimated dollar value of volunteer time which they suggest, "charitable organizations can use to quantify the enormous value volunteers provide." But Baldwin recognizes that there is “honest reluctance and limitations to assigning a [financial] value to an act of generosity.”
Baldwin suggests that quantifying the value of volunteering is “about visibility. It is about bringing into focus a thousand acts of kindness to recalibrate our understanding of our economy and ourselves.”
Volunteer Management: Once More With Meaning
In this Nonprofit Quarterly article, Jennifer Woodill suggests that “Volunteering is widely recognized as a key strategy of community engagement and participation. Providing much-needed support and services at a community level, volunteering also delivers on civic and philanthropic values within society at large.
…And for many, volunteering opens the door to new opportunities for personal and professional development.
Volunteering can play a critical role in fostering social inclusion. But how do those who make decisions about volunteer recruitment think about these questions—indeed, do they think about these questions at all?
Want to read more?
If you'd like to check out any of these posts, visit Apricot Jam's Volunteer page - here.
Other fresh links on Apricot Jam this week:
While we've highlighted some of our favorite Volunteer posts, we also bookmark posts and articles on a number of topics of interest to non-profits and membership organizations, including:
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