That week always seems to creep up on me and I need to make plans for the celebration and come up with brilliant and “low-cost or cost-free” ways to honor volunteers. Also, it needs to be NOT a “labor intensive” promotion.
National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 under President Richard Nixon. In subsequent years it has grown substantially under the leadership of the Points of Light. It is seen as an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community. In the United States “Service Unites” is celebrated April 23rd -29th. But celebrations are world-wide:
• Volunteer Australia “Give Happy – Live Happy” May 14-18th.
• Volunteering Canada “Volunteering, Eh?” April 23 -29th
• United Kingdom Volunteering “You make the difference” June 1-7”
• Volunteer Ireland “I-VOL” May 16-22
• Wales Council for Voluntary Action “Recognize, reward and recruit volunteers” June 1-7
- Give them a Bigger Picture
- Let your volunteers know the outcomes of their labors. Their role may be small mundane tasks but it’s an important part of the big picture.
- Provide Food – A cookie tray goes a long way! For our agency we’ve had a tradition of giving brightly wrapped “Pay Day” candy bars. We also give them the accomplishments of our agency and thank them for being part of the change in their community.
- Check-in with your Volunteers
- Knowing their name and a handshake is very important to people who care enough to give back to their community.
- Feature Volunteer Stories on your blog or website. We use quotes from volunteers to highlight the importance of volunteers and make them part of the team.
- Give Your Volunteers Awards – Are there any volunteers who have gone above-and-beyond? Nominate them for the Indiana SERVE Awards or other award programs.
- Give small tokens of gratitude – Pictures are great ways to thank Volunteers. You can post their pictures around the agency and put them on social media. Make sure that they have a copy of the picture to show their family and friends.
- Handwritten Thank You Cards
Sometimes the best way to show your appreciation is the old fashioned way- sending them a thank you card. In the age of email and social media, the handwritten letter is a novelty. You’ll get bonus points for personalizing the message, such as thanking them for a specific task they did during their time of volunteering.
So you still have time to put together a simple plan or a grand event. Volunteers just need to know that they are appreciated.
Kelly Updike for PCNRC
Over the past month, I’ve had a variety of staffers in my office. Individually, in groups, in tears, in anger. Tired. Discussing projects, deadlines, budgets, goals, each other.
Oh, and I caught a fever and felt completely useless for about two weeks. Allergies. A cold. Flu? Ugh. It’s never the right time to be off work.
All this happened while the Embassy was in the midst of celebrating its $10 million renovation project, which was decades in the making and finally, finally seeing fruition.
We are proud. We are also crabby.
You are in the same shape, I bet: Feeling you are blessed while also wondering what the heck is wrong with people, holy cow!
What to do? Well, it took some thought, but we went back to our same-old, same-old:
- Slow down.
- Keep talking.
- Write it down.
Life moves too fast and there is too much to do. Our staff has been encouraging each other to celebrate accomplishments. Remember that old phrase about stopping to smell the roses? Yeah, do that with the flowers in your own garden! And, then, by talking with teammates and checking the calendar, our staff also is encouraging each other to pause. Take a deep breath. Figure out what’s really important to do next. It does take time to do the right things in the right order.
Communication is the root of every success and every problem. I am blessed to work with terrific people, from staff to volunteers to board members. Keeping everyone on the same page is desperately important, so we have to make time to write emails, make calls and take meetings. Working in silos is so 1990s.
The last point is one I have to defend all the time because everyone thinks it is lame. Au contraire! Write down your plans: Make a list of the tasks for your project. Add columns to list who is responsible for doing each task and by what date. Distribute this document and update your progress. What is this amazing thing called? A checklist! Yes, that’s the lame-o part. It’s just so darn simple.
We routinely have to train staffers to write down procedures and plans. And then to use the checklist and keep it updated. This is not their favorite thing to do. They will tell you that you are old-fashioned. They will tell you they don’t have time. They will lie about updating the checklist until you ask to see it. This, however, is the organization’s lifesaver. Every time. It’s like a miracle mop, it just works. It’s a great communications method, it covers all the bases. And a checklist is a great training tool for new staffers. It’s also a great reminder for old hands.
Checklists are so terrific that I have them for myself. My top two favorites: A list of building inspections and maintenance tasks broken down into each month of the year and my checklist for board meeting preparations.
We’re not disgustingly cheerful at the Embassy but we have regained our composure. Instead of passing around tissues, we are back to passing around checklists.
The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the view of the Embassy or the PCNRC.
She starts off her blog post with defining the abbreviation GAAP (which is great, because I had no clue!) as generally accepted accounting practices. Carrie breaks down that there are three categories where the differences in financial statements and 990s occur. They are:
- unrealized gains and losses
- special events
- in-kind contributions
In a very condensed version, unrealized gains and losses are recorded in different places on the financial statement as compared to the Form 990. For special events, there are various ways the information can be recorded (see Carrie’s post for more details). As for in-kind, the fair market value must be recorded in the financial statements and general value recorded under the reconciliation of Form 990.
To read more and other details, check out Carrie post here.
Circus, Cole Porter, and Pioneers, oh my! This is not a random string of nouns. Instead it is a list of subjects I spoke about to people in the community.
I am not a marketer by education or by training. However, in various positions I learned from doing. I learned how to outreach through trial and error and my people person personality.
Outreach was a really good tool for me to use. It helped connect people to becoming members, attending programs, donating money, volunteering, and often dispelling notions of ‘doing nothing.’
How I reached out
|Position Title||Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center Intern|
|Hours Per Week||20 (6 month term)|
|Work Schedule||Willingness and ability to work a varied schedule of week days.|
|Responsibilities||Support the staff of the Center in its goal of providing information, training and assistance to community nonprofits to increase their effectiveness. Assist customers with information requests and orientation to the Center’s resources. Assist with electronic publication including grant alerts, newsletters and blogs. Assist with the development of program materials. Help with event coordination and logistics management. Perform other tasks including supportive clerical work such as copying and collating. Take initiative on ongoing tasks and ask questions as needed. The purpose of the internship is to provide a meaningful experience in areas of nonprofit management, such as administration, program and fund development.|
|Required Qualifications||High school diploma and some college. Strong interest in working in the nonprofit field. Knowledge of and experience with technology and software packages like Microsoft Office Suite, WordPress and Constant Contact. Demonstrated professional work style and mature behavior. Excellent oral communication and interpersonal skills. Demonstrated dependability, responsibility, flexibility and initiative. Ability to solve problems and think creatively. Ability to maintain positive working relationships with staff and customers and to perform all tasks required. Cooperative spirit, reliability, enthusiasm, friendliness, energy, resourcefulness, initiative, tact, good judgment, and a sense of humor are essential.|
|Preferred Skills & Abilities||Bilingual ability in Spanish or an Asian language is desirable but not required.|
|Compensation||This position pays $10.52 per hour. Free parking is included.|
|Number of Vacancies||1|
|Desired Start Date|
|Position End Date|
|Open Until Filled||No|
|Special Instructions to Applicants||This is a temporary six month internship.|
Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).
- * How did you hear about this employment opportunity?
- Public Job Posting
- Internal Job Posting
- Agency Referral
- Personal Referral
- If you answered “other”, please share how you heard about this opportunity.
(Open Ended Question)
- * Describe your experience working with nonprofit organizations.
(Open Ended Question)
- Cover Letter
To apply for the internship, please click here.
Are you in a hurry to attend one of our Grant Basic classes? If so, please check out GrantSpace!
GrantSpace is the Foundation Center’s learning resource. There is a plethora of easy-to-use tools for anyone in the nonprofit sector. Specifically, there are free recorded webinars at your disposal to learn about writing grant proposals. Webinar topics include “Demystifying the 990-PF” or “Proposal Budgeting Basics.” Another advantage of these free tools is that you can go at your own pace.
So if you are in a hurry or need a refresher check out the Foundation Center’s GrantSpace course offerings. If you forget or loose the link, we have it on the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center blog page under the main toolbar header “What We Do,” then in “Resources,” and below the header “Tools for Nonprofits.”
A Note on Grant Basic classes
Grant Basics I class is offered every other month. The next one will be at the beginning of September. Normally, the class registration will open about a month before the class date. Registration is through the Events Calendar on the Allen County Public Library’s homepage.
Grant Basics II class is offered every other month as well. The next one will be at the beginning of August. Grant Basics I is required to attend Grant Basics II. Grant Basics I must have been taken within 6 months of registering for Grant Basics II. To register call the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center @ 260-421-1238.