What Did You and Your Volunteers Do Well Last Year?

What Did You and Your Volunteers Do Well Last Year?

Read Susan J. Ellis’ hot topic at https://www.energizeinc.com/hot-topics/2014/december?utm_source=December%202014%20Update&utm_campaign=UA-392700-2&utm_medium=email

As a Leader of Volunteers

  • Did I have a strategic plan for the year? Was it something I followed and did it guide me to meet important goals?
  • What are three accomplishments of which I am most proud this year?
  • What are three crises or major obstacles that I handled well this year?
  • Did I consistently seek volunteers to partner with me in my own work (modeling that I believe the right volunteer can be amazingly helpful)?
  • Have I intentionally educated paid staff colleagues about teamwork with volunteers throughout the year at “teachable moments”?
  • What new roles for volunteers did we introduce this year? Which no-longer-useful ones did we retire?
  • Did I try new recruitment sources and techniques that gained new volunteers who diversified and expanded our talent pool?
  • Have I dealt with volunteer performance issues honestly, maintaining high standards even if the conversations with faltering volunteers were a bit uncomfortable?
  • Did I find opportunities to shine a spotlight on especially successful volunteer activities – as they occurred and not just at the volunteer recognition event?
  • Did I obtain funding or permission to buy/do something I needed to be more effective in volunteer management?  If I was initially turned down, did I try again with additional case points?
  • Did I succeed in coordinating outreach efforts with the fundraising/development office and staff responsible for public relations, marketing, and publications?
  • How often did I laugh each day? Make others laugh?

Our Volunteers

  • Did we respond to every inquiry about volunteering within 48 hours? Was our application and screening process efficient and did the best applicants become volunteers?
  • Were new volunteers welcomed into our organization consistently, with warmth and useful information?
  • Have we encouraged volunteers to make suggestions about how they might do their assigned roles better and to take initiative in response to needs they see?
  • Did we periodically “check in” with long-time volunteers to make sure they remain enthusiastic and/or to offer them a change in assignment to keep fresh?
  • Can each volunteer identify something s/he did this year that made a difference to our organization, a client, a staff member, or our mission?
  • Did we intentionally ask volunteers to be goodwill ambassadors in the community for us in any way this year?
  • Did senior managers have any highly skilled volunteers directly assigned to help them in their own work?
  • Were volunteers acknowledged in our organization’s annual report in a way that showed their involvement in many services? As “time donors” with value just as “money donors”?
  • What unexpected thank-you’s did volunteers receive, from whom, and for what?

My Professional Development

  • Did I schedule time each month solely to learn something new (read a volunteer management book, attend a training session, study useful Web sites)?
  • Was I active in a professional network of other volunteer resources managers, if not locally then at least online?
  • Have I kept up with some of the new technology that offers great tools for my work at no cost?
  • Did I volunteer myself to participate on any management or planning team this year, both to advance my skills and to demonstrate the integration of volunteer engagement with other departments and units in our organization?
  • Did I discuss potential career opportunities with my supervisor? With outside colleagues?
  • Do I still love this work?
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