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Volunteer Management Hot Topics with Susan J. Ellis

  1. Seeking Funder Support for Volunteer Engagement? Assess Your Approach!2018/11/29
    Funding specifically for the support of engaging volunteers remains elusive. Betsy McFarland proposes ways for leaders of volunteers to approach potential funders that may lead to more success.
  2. Volunteers? Donors? Let’s Call Them All Supporters!2018/10/29
    Find out why Energize consultant Sheri Wilensky Burke firmly believes organizations need to stop making a distinction between volunteers and financial contributors and start thinking of them all as supporters.
  3. Leaders of Volunteers: Stop Being So Bloody Nice!2018/09/25
    Rob Jackson officially introduces himself as part of "Team Energize" and explains why he strongly feels leaders of volunteers need to take off the halo once in a while!
  4. Good News: Today and Tomorrow for Energize, Inc.2018/08/29
    As summer comes to an end in the U.S. and the northern hemisphere, President Susan J. Ellis rallies the Energize “troops,” giving us a positive update on her health, future plans, and the status of Energize, today and tomorrow.
  5. Leader or Liability: Are Leaders Sabotaging Volunteer Engagement?2018/07/24
    With a fresh perspective after changing careers, Andy Fryar discovers that many leaders of volunteers inadvertently sabotage their own volunteer engagement programs. He shares some of the most common mistakes he has seen out in the field.
  6. What Is the New National Alliance for Volunteer Engagement and What Will It Mean for Us?2018/06/28
    Betsy McFarland announces an exciting new chapter for volunteer engagement in the United States—the development of a national body charged with bringing about unity and collaboration among networks, organizations, and individuals, driving a national conversation about the power and potential of volunteer engagement, and encouraging collective action for nationwide engagement strategies.
  7. Bribing volunteers: Should we be incentivising people for their time?2018/05/31
    For several years now the practice of incentivising people to volunteer has become increasingly common. But is this the right approach? Some argue these incentives amount to nothing more than bribes, whilst others herald their success. What can this debate teach us about motivation in the modern age?
  8. Grow Volunteer-Staff Harmony: Plant New Seeds this Spring2018/04/26
    When helping volunteer-involving organizations, consultant Betsy McFarland is frequently asked how to handle growing antagonism between volunteers and paid staff, often becoming an “us-versus-them” weed that invades the soil of the organization. In this Hot Topic, Betsy suggests ideas for cultivating collaborative relationships.
  9. Don’t Just Recognize Volunteers, Invest in Them…and Yourself2018/03/27
    As the season of national volunteer recognition events get underway, Sheri Wilensky Burke, associate director of the EveryoneReady® online volunteer management skill-building program, challenges leaders to recognize volunteers and their talents by investing in their development, what Sheri terms as “volunteer evolvement.”
  10. Letting Fear Prevent Volunteer Involvement is Too Risky2017/11/29
    This month guest writer Jayne Cravens challenges the belief that risk and fear should prohibit organizations from involving volunteers. Do volunteers really differ from paid staff when it comes to risk management? How can organizations build safety into volunteer engagement?
  11. Leaders of Volunteers: Will You “Be the Voice” for Our Profession?2017/09/27
    The theme of International Volunteer Managers Day 2017 (November 5) is "Be the Voice!" What does this call to action mean and how can each of us speak out effectively on behalf of our profession and the volunteers we lead? Consider what you "say" in actions as well as words.
  12. Are You in a Volunteer Management Silo?2017/08/31
    The principles and daily tasks of effective volunteer engagement are universal, no matter the setting. Yet, those of us who publish or plan conferences for the field find it a hard sell to attract an audience as diverse as the field itself. Find inspiration outside the familiar.
  13. Three Great Days: Reflections after the Summit on Volunteer Engagement Leadership2017/07/31
    Susan came to the 2017 National Summit on Volunteer Engagement Leadership last month with cautious hope and left with enthusiastic optimism. Read her reflections and consider our shared responsibility for moving the profession of volunteer management forward again.
  14. The “Social Compact” and Voluntary Action Are the Foundation of Democracy -- Even Today2017/06/27
    On July 4th, Americans celebrate the concept of independence. We should recognize that the founders were also defining co-dependence or inter-dependence as the basis for the "common good" of their wished-for democracy. Both citizen volunteering and taxes are implied in this social contract.
  15. Find the Money for Priceless Conferencing2017/05/30
    Do you only go to conferences if your employer covers the costs? Do you value your own professional development enough to pay for it yourself? Once you're at an event, are you doing everything you can to make it priceless for your learning and enjoyment? Susan offers a lot of tips to broaden your perspective.
  16. That Pesky Word “Volunteer”2017/04/27
    Are we giving recognition to all the people who are actually volunteers? To some who are not? We cannot assume the word volunteer means the same thing to everyone – and have to communicate effectively exactly what we mean when we use it.
  17. Continuous Learning Is Not Optional2017/03/30
    Who knew volunteer management was so complicated? We did. First we need to learn the basics, but it doesn't stop there. We need to keep up to date and challenged. Think you don't have the time? Find (or make) the time.
  18. Energize Turns 40!2017/02/27
    Where did 40 years go? Susan reflects on Energize's milestone anniversary by sharing her observations on what challenges to the volunteer field have never changed, which have gotten worse, and which have gotten better. Do you agree?
  19. Don’t Forget Volunteers as Part of the Solution to 2017 Nonprofit Challenges2017/01/30
    Susan responds to The NonProfit Times' article, "Nonprofit Workplace Challenges Predicted for 2017," pointing out how volunteers can and should be integrated into any organization’s strategic planning to react to change.
  20. Pride in the Volunteer Management Profession 2016/12/29
    How do you react when your executive requests something that you think doesn't make sense or may actually be negative for volunteers? Take pride in your professional knowledge and do your job: speak up for best practices.
  21. When Things Look Dark, Volunteers Can Spark Lightning2016/11/29
    This has been a year in which turmoil, violence, and uncertainty have affected too many parts of the world, often reversing social progress and opening deep divisions among people. Take heart: when things seem dark and cloudy, volunteers can be the bolts of lightning that can turn things around.
  22. What Volunteer Recruiters Can Learn from #GivingTuesday2016/10/27
    Have you heard of #GivingTuesday? It’s a global fundraising event that connects to the pre-holiday shopping season. How can we link volunteer recruitment to this campaign? And what does it teach us about the fine art of “piggybacking” as a recruitment tool that we can use in many different ways?
  23. Get the Most Support: Blending Money, Things, and People2016/09/30
    Although critical, raising money is not the only way for an organization to support its work. Are you, as leader of volunteer resources, included in planning for fundraising so you can suggest possible non-cash avenues to obtain some of what's needed?
  24. The Limitations of Seeing Volunteers Only as Unpaid Staff2016/08/30
    Volunteers are not simply “unpaid help” to assist employees. The differences between employees and volunteers are major and strategic. Susan compares and contrasts both sets of workers in an attempt to show how treating them as the same except for level of pay is deceptive and limiting.
  25. Clients Are a Talent Pool, Too2016/07/28
    Most volunteer-involving organizations serve “people in need” through a charity model that often works, but can also be paternalistic and disempowering. Leaders of volunteers can change the paradigm by seeing clients as people with talents as well as needs – and their own desire to partner in finding solutions.
  26. Inform, and Wow, Everyone about Volunteers2016/06/29
    It is critical to record and report information about volunteer service, yet organizations rarely see what is significant about volunteers. Get some tips from the model of July 4th fireworks and capture attention with great reports!
  27. https://charityvillage.com/cms/knowledge-centre/management/governance/ethics2016/05/31
    Susan explores the relationship between individual organizations and “connector” agencies such as volunteer centers created to increase community-wide volunteering. They have mutual goals, but different perspectives. How do we assure partnership and avoid competition?
  28. Political Campaigns: Epicenter of Volunteering2016/04/28
    We in the U. S. are deep into one of the strangest presidential election process in memory. Susan offers a collection of recent volunteer-centered political news stories. Some are bizarre, some are moving, and all are revealing of the kaleidoscope of citizen action focused on social change.
  29. Sending Volunteer Talent Down the Drain2016/03/30
    Susan tells the true story of how a photographer friend's talents are being wasted by an appealing volunteer project...and why this has important implications for designing all kinds of volunteer work.
  30. Incorporate the Power of Live Web Calls into Volunteer Management2016/02/29
    Susan discusses the amazing opportunities that VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) platforms offer for effective volunteer management. You may already use Skype to interview prospective volunteers or to interact with remote volunteers. What about as a method of bringing expertise and training to your organization?
  31. Do You Stick Your Neck Out When Advocating for Volunteers?2016/01/30
    "Behold the turtle, who makes progress only when sticking its neck out." Yet many leaders of volunteers are bent on avoiding risk as if it is always a bad or dangerous thing. Susan offers some ways to strategize for necessary change.
  32. The Domino Effect of Setting Goals for Volunteer Involvement2015/12/30
    A new year is an excellent time to open discussion on strategic planning for volunteer involvement. What are your organization’s goals for what volunteers will accomplish this year? The consequences of unclear goals are far-reaching.
  33. See Superheroes for What They Really Are!2015/11/30
    The theme for IVMDay last month reinforced the image of volunteers as “Superheroes.” And yes, volunteers do share a lot of characteristics with brave champions. But you know what? We think it’s really the reverse. Superheroes share a lot of characteristics with volunteers!
  34. Volunteers as Beta Testers2015/10/30
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  35. Keeping Former Volunteers in Our Circle of Good Friends2015/09/29
    A high school reunion made me think about how often we miss opportunities to stay connected to volunteers who leave their positions with us. The fundraising office “cultivates” even the smallest money donor patiently over time. So why do we sever ties completely with former volunteers who may still care a lot about our work?
  36. Pictures, Pictures, Pictures2015/08/28
    Smartphones have opened a whole world of options for taking photographs and videos to benefit volunteer engagement—at no cost and by many contributors. Are you making use of all the possibilities, both practical and fun?
  37. In the Middle: The Leader of Volunteers as Intermediary2015/07/30
    We are responsible for the effective engagement of volunteers but most often do not have control over what happens once volunteers are placed into roles supervised by others. So leaders of volunteers are accountable, but with limited power. Susan asks: When do you have the authority to act if you feel something needs to be done differently? What are your options?
  38. Letting Volunteers into the Team’s Locker Room2015/06/29
    We say that our goal is teamwork among volunteers and paid staff, but just as the game is about to start, we withhold some of the things volunteers need to help the team to victory. Do you give volunteers access to the same resources employees take for granted?
  39. Mixed Messages to Volunteers Whom We’ve Asked to Be Friendly2015/05/29
    Volunteers are commonly recruited into "friendship" roles to meet one-to-one with a client regularly over time. But do the volunteer, the client, and the agency all see this match in the same way? What happens when the volunteer acts like a friend instead of doing what a paid "service provider" might do?
  40. Fighting against Ignorance: Picking up My Sword Yet Again2015/04/30
    Some issues recur over and over, posing the question, “Why are so many executives clueless about volunteer involvement?” Susan shares three new examples of this problem and identifies their insidious common denominators.
  41. If Google Can’t Find the People Who Lead Volunteers, No One Can2015/03/30
    Too many associations of volunteer resources managers are completely invisible on the Web – effectively dead because they cannot be found through even a careful search. An effective Web presence is key to building new membership.
  42. Do Volunteers Want to “Talk Amongst Themselves”?2015/02/25
    Do you think that volunteers (of any kind) would be interested in an online forum community, based on their shared identity as volunteers? Dan Berman, founder of VolunteerTalk.org, and Susan debate this question and invite you to weigh in – and to visit his beta site.
  43. Replace Current Volunteers or Redirect New Ones?2015/01/30
    Susan reacts to a newspaper article, “As older Minnesota volunteers leave, who will replace them?” Are we asking the right or wrong questions in situations like this one?
  44. What I Learned about Online Resources for Volunteer Management (While Updating the New Energize, Inc. Web Site) 2014/12/30
    Updating our Web site gave Susan the chance to assess trends, treasures, and challenges of the Internet resources that have evolved for our field since 1997. Do you agree with her observations?

  45. What Did You and Volunteers Do Well this Year?2014/12/01
    Seemingly at the speed of light, 2014 is rapidly coming to an end. Before you consider making any resolutions for the new year, use December as an opportunity to reflect on the past 12 months...
  46. Pulling the Rug Out from Under Volunteer Involvement: Sudden Staff Changes2014/11/14
    What are the consequences on volunteers and everyone else when the job of volunteer resources manager is eliminated or drastically changed?
  47. Whom Don’t We Ask to Volunteer?2014/10/05
    There are potential volunteers we rarely attract because we do not see their talents, feel they are out of our reach, or are unsure how to approach them. So we never ask them...and we all lose.
  48. Ten Time-Tested Volunteer Recruitment Tips that Still Work2014/09/01
    We all want to learn new recruitment techniques to keep up with emerging trends, but it's important it is to remember the basics, too – the things that have been proven to work over time.
  49. Identifying Who Is and Is Not a “Volunteer”2014/08/01
    The age-old debate about defining "volunteer" is that we seek clear, definitive answers, when there are far too many nuances for that.
  50. I Really Want to Know: What’s Going on Out There?2014/07/01
    Innovative volunteer roles or volunteer management techniques sound wonderful when presented. Let's do a reality check on how many of these new ideas are tried and assimilated into daily agency operations?
  51. Working Together to Recognize Volunteers…and More2014/06/01
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  52. Volunteers and the Quest for Innovation2014/06/01
    The current emphasis of funders on “innovating” or “reimagining” programs implies some assumptions that deserve to be questioned. Is something new always something better? Where do volunteers fit into this all?
  53. Branding National Volunteer Week: Whose Week Is It Anyway?2014/05/01
    National Volunteer Week in the U.S. was “sold” this year by Points of Light to Advil®, making the rest of us non-consenting participants in a commercial advertising strategy.
  54. Let’s Help People Help Each Other2014/03/01
    A true story of informal volunteering raises important questions: Can volunteer resources managers ever capture and build on the ways that some people naturally help others?
  55. It’s Time to Discuss the Complex Relationship of Volunteering and Money2014/02/01
    We know that volunteers are not "free," but we do not always acknowledge what it costs them to give their time or who else may be aiding the volunteer with other financial support.
  56. Virtual Volunteering Revisited2014/01/01
    The Web enabled a new way to volunteer online and 20 years later virtual volunteering has become a critical part of our field. Take a poll to compare your experience to others.
  57. Don't Let the History Made by Volunteers Fall through the Cracks of Time2013/12/01
    Keep the efforts of volunteers past visible through a simple photography project and celebrate the transition from the old to new year in a different way.
  58. Education through Celebration on International Volunteer Managers Day2013/11/01
    November 5th is IVMDay. Most professions do not expect or need a special day of recognition - why do we? Because it's an opportunity to get others to pay attention to what it takes to coordinate volunteers effectively.
  59. Prospective Volunteers Are Closer than You Think2013/10/01
    Never assume people know you are looking for volunteers. Make sure that you are really issuing an invitation to become a volunteer to the people in greatest proximity to you. Susan explains how...
  60. What Volunteer Resources Managers Can Teach Human Resources Managers2013/09/01
    Volunteer resources managers (VRMs) are constantly being told what we can learn from professionals in personnel or human resources (HR). Maybe it's time we tell HR what they can learn from us.
  61. Volunteering and Employability: Cause or Effect?2013/08/01
    Most of us support the observation that volunteering builds resumes, provides career exploration, and demonstrates each volunteer's abilities, but can we make the case - as several recent research studies try to do - that volunteering directly affects employability?
  62. Breaking through the Glass Ceiling for Volunteers2013/07/01
    All too often, volunteers are assigned to staff at the lowest rungs of an organization's hierarchy while senior and middle managers never partner with them at all. Let's change the status quo.
  63. Stop Volunteers from Being Their Own Worst Enemies2013/06/01
    How can you challenge and educate volunteers who themselves perpetuate negative thinking about volunteering?
  64. Strategic Volunteer Management: Expanding Your Organization's Brain2013/05/01
    Does your organization have a volunteer involvement strategy? What does one look like? Why is it worth becoming a priority for senior managers?
  65. Revisiting the Seven Deadly Sins of Directing Volunteers2013/04/01
    In 1980 and 1990, Energize produced a mini-poster with the dramatic title of "The Seven Deadly Sins of Directing Volunteers." Susan considers whether the "sins" have changed now in 2013 - and asks for your help in generating a list for today.
  66. Why Social Media Is Not the Cure-All for Building Volunteer Engagement2013/03/01
    Everyone is buzzing about social media, hoping to "go viral" and grab the attention of prospective new volunteers. But the medium is not the message. Susan examines how the basic principles of volunteer recruitment still apply in our electronic age.
  67. The Treasure Trove of Knowledge Philanthropists2013/02/01
    A new book introduces the concept of knowledge philanthropists: time donors "who volunteer primarily with their head, by contributing what theyknow." Organizations can vastly increase their capacity by engaging volunteers with any and all professional skills.
  68. Should We Cap the Number of Hours a Volunteer May Serve Each Week?2013/01/01
    "How many volunteer hours are too much?" Are there any legitimate reasons to limit the time volunteers may give or is it a self-defeating practice? Would you cap a financial donation? Sort out the layers of complexity in this issue.
  69. End-of-Year Reports Can Illuminate Volunteer Achievements2012/12/01
    Are volunteers acknowledged in meaningful ways in your organization's annual reports and other public documents? Use the holiday season to celebrate the gifts volunteers provide all year long and educate everyone with surprising and valuable information.
  70. The Perfect Volunteer Storm2012/11/01
    An indescribable hurricane and a fierce presidential election in the same week! These two very different situations are both eliciting an outpouring of volunteer time and effort. Susan analyzes the implications for calmer times from the perspective of volunteer leadership.
  71. Practicing What We Preach: Volunteers Helping Us, Too2012/10/01
    One of the enduring mysteries of the volunteer management field is how often those who lead volunteer efforts do not build a team of volunteers to help them in their important work. Do you?
  72. "Why?" Is More Powerful than #@#%!2012/09/01
    "Why" is a three-letter word that can pack more punch than most four-letter words! Leaders of volunteers tend to avoid confrontation, but posing a sensible question - which anyone can do - is a means of taking action in a different way. Learn the power of "why?"
  73. Let's Be Honest about Nonprofit Boards of Directors (or, Lessons to Be Learned from Penn State)2012/08/01
    Nonprofits are governed by boards of directors comprised mainly of volunteers and, as the Penn State scandal proves, they are not always effective. Why are volunteer resource managers so rarely asked to help the board to function?
  74. Is Volunteering the Emperor's New Clothes?2012/07/01
    It seems that many corporations and national organizations want to "wear" volunteerism...for only a moment. Vague new initiatives launch with glitz, but ultimately have very little impact on any of the important community work that needs to be done.
  75. Why Do We Love Volunteer Satisfaction Surveys?2012/06/01
    It's common to use a "volunteer satisfaction survey" as ostensible evidence that things are going well. Do such surveys reveal anything meaningful about the value of volunteer contributions? What might tell us more?
  76. Three Things Volunteer Managers Can Learn from the Social Media Revolution2012/05/01
    Guest commentator Rob Jackson draws three critical points from recent social media data that have direct relevance to leaders of volunteers - and gives tips for responding. Are you keeping up with how fast things are changing?
  77. Common Sense and Volunteer Involvement2012/04/01
    Energize gets asked a lot of questions about volunteers that would never be posed in relation to paid staff. Susan shares some examples of illogic, overreaction, and unthinking policies that hinder volunteer success.
  78. How Serving the Volunteer Field Has Changed after 35 Years -- Or Not?2012/03/01
    Energize is celebrating its 35th birthday! What has changed since 1977 in how we do business, and also in the volunteer world? On the surface, a lot. But maybe the more things change, the more they stay the same.
  79. Volunteering Is Inherently Political2012/02/01
    In the U.S., presidential candidates with widely differing views each attract thousands of volunteers. We see election volunteering as a political act but any type of volunteering is inherently "political." What does this mean for your organization?
  80. What Would the Perfect Volunteer-Involving Organization Look Like?2012/01/01
    What would your organization look like if it practiced everything we preach about creative, welcoming, and effective volunteer management? We have to picture the results of our efforts to be motivated to do the work necessary.
  81. My Personal "State of the World's Volunteering" Report2011/12/01
    United Nations Volunteers is set to issue its State of the World's Volunteering Report. In this spirit of celebration and reflection, Susan looks back at all that has happened professionally in our field - things we have done or were done to us - and asks for your retrospectives, too.
  82. Part-time Volunteer Management Means Equally Limited Volunteer Involvement2011/11/01
    The majority of people who lead volunteer involvement do so only part-time, showing a serious disconnect between an organization's desire to engage volunteers and an understanding of how much expertise and time are needed to ensure success.
  83. What Leaders of Volunteers Can DO to Gain Executive Attention2011/10/01
    Susan offers 8 essential approaches to generate greater support from top management - using the tools leaders of volunteers already have in more powerful ways.
  84. Addressing Volunteerism Issues in the Blogosphere2011/09/01
    Some truly wonderful and provocative blogs have emerged recently. Here are some by authors who are willing - in fact, determined - to address philosophy, ethics, and the "big questions" facing the volunteer field.
  85. I'll Never Understand Why Executives Still Don't Understand2011/08/01
    Inexplicably, the subject of volunteer involvement is still far from a priority in most organizations. Susan highlights succinct key points to use as "sound bites" or "elevator speeches" in advocacy for our work. Share yours.
  86. Needed: A Multi-level Approach to Credentialing Volunteer Management2011/07/01
    Many want a universally-accepted credential to "professionalize" volunteer management. The problem is that we are in danger of settling for a one-size-fits-all accreditation that is too narrow in scope and much too low-level in status.
  87. Is the Corporation for National and Community Service on the Right Track for Volunteerism?2011/06/01
    In the face of serious budget cuts facing the U.S. Corporation for National and Community Service, guest contributor Paula Beugen wonders if the Corporation needs a serious makeover no matter the budget.
  88. Short Attention Spans versus Long-term Causes2011/05/01
    We live in a world of short attention spans. How can we reconcile the long-term demands of most causes with the "what's-new-today?" push? How do we continue to recruit the volunteers we need for the long haul?
  89. Celebrate Collective Accomplishments, Not Volunteered Time2011/04/01
    Volunteer recognition is a powerful tool for leaders of volunteers that remains largely underutilized. Susan offers some new perspectives on saying thank you in strategic ways.
  90. Exercise Your Volunteering Funny Bone2011/03/01
    Is Mother Nature or the economy getting you down? Could you use a good laugh? Energize runs a contest to find volunteer-related humor.
  91. Real Professions Have Strong Associations2011/02/01
    Around the world, too many professional associations of volunteer resource managers are struggling. Whether we work globally or locally, virtually or face-to-face, we will make progress only if we perceive associating as power.
  92. The Choice of the Citizen: Pay Taxes, Do Without, or Volunteer2011/01/01
    With more financial hardships and budget cuts ahead of us, what are the rights and responsibilities of citizens - public servants and taxpayer volunteers - in ensuring services to the community?
  93. The Word "Volunteer" Can Reveal, Conceal, or Confuse2010/12/01
    The UN's IYV+10 has raised the perpetual question of "What exactly is - or is not -volunteering?" How someone defines the core word of our field often has strong impact on some critical, practical matters.
  94. When Volunteers Resist Change2010/11/01
    If everything in the world is changing, volunteering cannot stay the same. But some volunteers prefer the status quo. Susan looks at the causes of resistance and suggests ways to introduce change that volunteers will own.
  95. Online Information Overload -- and How to Cope2010/09/01
    We've seen the evolution of ever more powerful Internet tools. The trouble is that we are drowning in data. What does this mean for our own professional development and for volunteer involvement?
  96. Limiting Volunteers through Insurance Requirements2010/08/01
    Volunteer groups are increasingly being detoured by demands to carry liability insurance. Is this just another way of saying "no" to volunteer initiative? The real question is: "What is the risk of not doing something?"
  97. The Correlation between Time Donors and Money Donors2010/07/01
    Money donors and time donors are closely intertwined - and people move in and out of both roles over a lifetime. Remind executives that we need to cultivate all supporters for the long-term.
  98. Reimagining Service: Is Corporate HR Management What We See?2010/06/01
    The American "Reimagining Service" initiative is pushing the concept that corporate human resources professionals are the key to building the capacity of nonprofits to engage volunteers. Really?
  99. The Self-Directed Volunteer2010/05/01
    Learn about a new (maybe) type of service: the self-directed volunteer. Is it "organized neighborliness" or something really different? What's the role of social media in mobilizing self-directed volunteers?
  100. "You Get What You Pay For"2010/04/01
    "If it's worth doing, it's worth paying for it." "You couldn't pay someone to do this." How can we believe both that money equals worth and that money in some ways taints the receiver? How do such preconceptions affect us?
  101. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Targeting Volunteer Management2010/03/01
    AmeriCorps (and also Senior Corps) members are now being deployed as volunteer coordinators in organizations that do not have staff to lead volunteer involvement. Susan examines the potential and concerns of this initiative.
  102. Both Receiving and Giving2010/02/01
    Conspicuous by their absence in most volunteer corps are the people the organization serves. But we should be considering them as a source of talent, too. Givers as well as recipients.
  103. Differentiating between Volunteering and Working for Pay2010/01/01
    It is limiting to focus on the similarity of volunteers and employees. Think of what we might accomplish if volunteers had free rein to make the most of what distinguishes them from a paid work force.
  104. When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and Volunteers2009/12/01
    Can an organization turn to volunteers to fill gaps when budgets are cut and employees laid off? Economic crisis is a teachable moment, with the potential to educate everyone about smart, motivating engagement of volunteers.
  105. Media Blitz vs. Media Noise: What Are We Trying to Accomplish?2009/11/01
    We've just ended the Entertainment Industry Foundation's attempt to mention volunteering in all types of media. What's important is not which popular shows carried the volunteering message or even how well. What happened?
  106. Taking the Client's Perspective in Designing Volunteer Roles2009/10/01
    Are we missing the boat by not directing volunteers into work that is of greatest value to the users of our services right now. Isn't it important to ask volunteers to do whatever is of highest priority?
  107. Making Ongoing Volunteering Valued and Visible2009/09/01
    How can we integrate discussion of everyone's own volunteering into daily life in a natural, even "taken for granted" way? With the hoopla about single days of service, how do we shine a light on ongoing volunteering?
  108. The Separation of Service-learning from Volunteering...and Does It Matter?2009/08/01
    Service-learning has evolved as a world unto itself apart from the field of volunteer management, despite the connecting link of the young people engaged in service. How can we bridge the divide?
  109. The Drive towards "Highly-skilled" and "Pro Bono" Volunteering2009/07/01
    "A Billion + Change" is encouraging corporations to send "highly-skilled" employee volunteers out to help nonprofits. Susan identifies 6 assumptions that need to be challenged to assure pro bono success.
  110. Days, Hours and Minutes of Service - Enough Is Enough2009/06/01
    Im today's time-deprived world, it's easy to see why single "days of service" have become popular. But this trend has proliferated to the point of absurdity, with ever-shorter time commitments.
  111. The Role of Volunteer Resources Managers in the Serve America Act2009/05/01
  112. Confidentiality and Other Objections to Volunteers2009/04/01
  113. The Difference Between Needing and Wanting Volunteers2009/03/01
  114. "A New Era of Responsibility": An Open Letter to President Obama2009/02/01
  115. What's Ahead for 2009?2009/01/01
  116. From Organizing Charity to Building Community2008/12/01
  117. How Will the Economic Crisis Affect Volunteering?2008/11/01
  118. The Confusing Talk about "Service"2008/10/01
  119. Replacing Volunteers with Paid Staff2008/09/01
  120. The Yin and Yang of China's Olympic Volunteers2008/08/01
  121. Volunteers Should Not Be Second-Class Taxpayers2008/07/01
  122. Is the Rising Cost of Gas a Crisis or an Opportunity for Volunteering?2008/06/01
  123. It's Volunteers and Money2008/05/01
  124. Volunteering Is Bigger than the Nonprofit Sector2008/04/01
  125. California Governor "Pumps Up" Volunteering2008/03/01
  126. The Power of Difference2008/02/01
  127. So, What Do You Do?2008/01/01
  128. Helper Triage: Volunteer Management in Emergencies2007/12/01
  129. Boards of Directors: Governing at a Distance?2007/11/01
  130. The Moral Obligation of Volunteer Recruitment Promises2007/10/01
  131. Volunteering We See but Don't Recognize2007/09/01
  132. The Big Merger: Many Unanswered Questions2007/08/01
  133. The More We're Different, the More We're the Same2007/07/01
  134. Technology Acceleration: Grab Hold and Hang On2007/06/01
  135. Make New Friends But Keep the Old...2007/05/01
Volunteer Management Hot Topics with Susan J. Ellis
These Hot Topics are podcasted by Susan J. Ellis, internationally-recognized author and trainer in volunteerism and President of Energize, Inc. Through her travels and interactions throughout the world, she talks about the current issues (i.e., news, technology, politics, media image, etc.) in the volunteer management field. If you're a volunteer or work with volunteers, listen each month to stay on the cutting edge. If you think that you or your business need-not-apply - or, should we say, listen - you will find that these topics can definitely relate to you, too! So sit back, relax, listen, and get ready to be energized - (pun intended). Want to read some more of Susan's previous hot topics? Check them out at http://www.energizeinc.com/hot-topics-and-news.

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