Linda Graff, with a deserved reputation of producing high-quality, tell-it-like-it-is books for volunteer managers, has done it again. Her own introduction is the best description of the contents of this comprehensive volume:
This resource collects into a single volume all the latest techniques that produce effective volunteer involvement. It has been prepared specifically for volunteer volunteer coordinators in organizations such as sports associations and churches, and for local chapter/branch organizers – volunteer leaders who typically do not call what they do “volunteer management” but who are engaged in the management of volunteer efforts nonetheless. All of the principles and expertise from the field of volunteer program management apply equally to what they do. As well, paid managers of volunteers who are new to the profession, and more experienced managers who are just too busy to search through libraries of literature for solutions to their volunteer program shortcomings, will find plenty of practical help and even some new thinking in this guide.
The aim in producing BEST OF ALL has been to collect the “top layer” of proven techniques from decades of experience. These are the best of all volunteer coordination strategies proven to work in a myriad of settings. Applying these practices will increase your organization’s capacity to find, involve, and retain excellent volunteers in safe and productive positions. That, in turn, will lead to a more successful fulfillment of your organization’s mission. Importantly, the integration of these best practices will help you to support your volunteers so that they can give their best of all towards the fulfillment of your organization’s mission.
Table of Contents
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Excerpts from a book review by Donna Lockhart, The RETHINK GROUP
As a College Instructor, I have never put a “textbook” on the curriculum outline for The Certificate for Volunteer Management. The simple reason being - I could not find a resource that was both generic and inclusive. I’ve changed my mind. After reviewing Linda Graff’s new resource “Best of All”, I have decided to recommend it as THE resource for my students for a number of reasons.
Linda’s resource is practical but also stimulating. Linda’s world experience is shared and highlighted with Key Ideas or Leadership Tips and the How to Tables make it easy to focus on a specific area that needs improvement. Resource lists at the end of each chapter are particularly helpful if you just want to focus on that topic and make improvements to your volunteer program.
“Really liked the distinction between social, position, and system orientation, and didn’t think about how we do this in my current organization until I read what [Linda] wrote. I suspect that many organizations do all three, but not deliberately or with regular evaluation of each element in the total orientation package.”
--Liz Adamshik, Director of Volunteer Services, Columbus AIDS Task Force
“This is an entire library condensed into one easy to use resource!”
-- Karen Smith, Principal, Enmark Associates
“… I find the supervision, evaluation, disciplinary action sections to be the best I have seen in these topic areas. ... this is where a lot of organizations have some of their greatest challenges and these three chapters provide an excellent combination of theory, how to’s and additional resources.”
--Barb Gemmell, Trainer, Consultant, Gemmell Training & Consulting
“Wow! Linda Graff's new book 'Best of all' certainly lives up to its name. With this book, Linda has truly produced an amazing compendium of best practice tips, facts and ideas and it should be immediately added to the library of all volunteer leaders! Not only does this publication have a wide range of applications for volunteers who find themselves in leadership positions, it is also a great resource for any new volunteer program manager entering the field and a handy addition to the bookshelf of even the most experienced volunteerism professional. Bravo Linda!”
--Andy Fryar, Director and Founder, OzVPM, Australia, www.ozvpm.com
“...you've created a comprehensive resource that takes account of the changing culture in which people are volunteering. I love the way key ideas are flagged up in the margins and all the great checklists you've provided - these will, I'm sure, help to make this a resource that people will keep at their fingertips to refer to and dip into as well as reading right through.”
-- Fraser Dyer, Author, “Why Do I Do This Everyday?”, www.myworkinglife.com
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Excerpted from "Other Trends Affecting Volunteer Involvement"
5.0 Other Trends Affecting Volunteer Involvement
In addition to shifts in the volunteer labour pool itself, there are many other changes taking place in he broader society that influence who is available to volunteer, what they bring, and how we need o support them so that they can be as effective as possible. With change as the ever-present constant in modern life, there are dozens of important shifts that are having an impact on volunteering. Here re just a few of the more salient that volunteer program managers report.
Technology is changing everything , volunteering included. Technology provides organizations with new ways to reach out to new populations of volunteers; it offers a myriad of ways to connect with, and provide support to, existing volunteers; it raises expectations regarding response time and deadlines; it is the method of communication for some, often younger, population segments; its ever-widening availability makes it a must-use element for the contemporary and successful volunteer leader.
Globalization makes the world smaller and closer . Linked to global communication, the capacity to reach out, stay in touch, and keep up with changes elsewhere, requires the contemporary manager of volunteer involvement to coordinate information as much as s/he coordinates people. Borders have taken on new meaning and volunteering-related travel and voluntourism are new items on the list of opportunities that volunteering can offer. Changing immigration patterns mean increasingly diverse populations and that has major implications for volunteer programs that seek to be representative of their communities.
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