A National Gathering with an Important Purpose 

My friend Susan Ellis over at Energize asked me to post this news release, and I’m happy to do so because if you’re like me you’re always on the lookout for some quality volunteer engagement events and workshops. This would be one of those!

Registration is now open for the 2017 National Summit on Volunteer Engagement to be held at Hamline University in St. Paul, MN on July 26-28, 2017 (www.mavanetwork.org/2017summit). Hosted by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA), this special event is being planned by a steering committee of practitioners from all across the United States and is expected to draw close to 1,000 participants from all over the world. The Summit will be the first time in almost a decade that volunteer mobilization and support – in any setting – will be the total focus of a major conference.

With funding cuts, increased service needs, and organizations scrambling for support, the stakes have never been higher. In these politically contentious times, organizations are counting on volunteers to be advocates as well as budget stretchers. And volunteer numbers are on the rise nationally. All of this is exactly why effective volunteer leadership is needed now more than ever.

This Summit brings together the movers, the shakers, and the magic makers so that together we can define the future of the volunteer engagement field. For the first time in more than a decade the profession’s thought leaders, authors, and trainers will be together in one place. And unlike other conferences, volunteer engagement professionals will be front and center at the National Summit.

The Summit offers more than 100 workshops to increase volunteer management knowledge and skills. In addition, plenaries and small group discussions will allow collective strategizing for participants to determine how to build a new national profession, and ultimately increase the community impact of the volunteers engaged.

A variety of voices from the field will launch the National Summit at the opening plenary. The Theater of Public Policy (T2P2) will listen to the discussion and then use a “mind-opening” improv experience to generate exceptional communication with attendees. Their out-of-the-box techniques will help attendees find new answers during the three-day journey to map the profession’s future.

There will also be special sessions focusing on grant makers and other philanthropic organizations which support volunteer engagement in nonprofits, providing a unique opportunity for funders and nonprofit leaders alike to learn more about each other’s perspectives, approaches to collaboration, and challenges.

The Summit Website

The Summit Face Book

The Summit Twitter site

Posted in Leadership, National Conferences, Recruiting, Volunteer Engagement, volunteer management, Workshops | Leave a comment

Recruiting Tips to Build Your Dream Team

“In my head, we are already there.”

Those are the words Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) said in the movie Hidden Figures, when referring to NASA sending a man to the moon. He had a vision to see men in space, a vision so vivid, he saw them as already there!

What is your vision for your volunteer dream team?

With the competition today for volunteers, recruiters have to significantly up their game plan when it comes to recruiting top talent. Every organization wants the best, and today’s recruiters need to have a clear strategy in order to attract high capacity volunteers.

Can you visualize a picture of that dream team equipped and ready to tackle the project? Make your vision a reality with these four tips: Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Marketing, Recruiting, Teamwork, The New Breed of Volunteer, Volunteer Engagement, volunteer management, Workshops | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to Mobilize A Volunteer Dream Team

Living-Room-Small-GroupOf the many volunteer teams I have led,  three types of teams stand out.

  1. The dynamic, high capacity dream team
  2. The dysfunctional nightmare team
  3. The rather bland team in which members show up because they have to or for some guilt-driven reason.

Let’s be honest. We’d all love our teams to be dream teams—those teams that take on our mission with the same passion that drives me. Dream teams start with proper recruitment (see “recruiting is like dating). But once I have recruited my volunteers, I have the challenge of mobilizing these high-capacity passionate volunteers into a powerful volunteer dream team. That is a huge task. Continue reading

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The 2 “Football Basics” of Volunteer Engagement

footballFall is different things to different people. To parents it’s back to school. To me the lazy days of summer are over, and I have kick off my sandals and start wearing shoes again. To my son Jonathan and his wife Lori… it’s football!

If you live in America, it’s hard to avoid the excitement about this game. Entire nights of television (like tonight) are dedicated to the sport. So what can we, as directors of volunteers in the beginning of a new season, learn from football to kickoff a successful volunteer season? Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Marketing, Recruiting, The New Breed of Volunteer, Volunteer Engagement, volunteer management, Volunteer Retension | 2 Comments

Hard-to-recruit Volunteers

dreamstime_xs_54565472How to Recruit Door-to-door Political Campaign Volunteers…
and Other Hard-to-recruit Volunteers

On the first day of the Democratic convention Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren challenged the delegates to mobilize teams to go door-to-door and campaign for Hillary Clinton.

Yes… door-to-door!

A few weeks ago I received a call from a staff member of a national organization asking me how to recruit teams of volunteers to go door-to-door to get people to vote for Donald Trump Continue reading

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Mobilizing a New Breed of Volunteers… in Colorado

10580779_859480480736510_4166228323392133403_oAwakening, focusing, sustaining, and unleashing the power and passion of today’s volunteers– a workshop by Father/Son Team — Loveland, CO, September 21-23, 2016

This September we’re coming to Colorado to teach our 2-day workshop on everything you need to know about recruiting today’s new breed of volunteers.

Name it: recruiting, retaining, motivating, empowering… we’re covering it all. Continue reading

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Turn a “No” Into a “Yes”

Framing-Your-Pitch-YesThe Simple Task of Framing

You just made a pitch to a potential volunteer who would be perfect on your planning team… but she said, “No.”

You went to all the trouble to set up a lunch meeting with the prospective volunteer. You developed your recruiting pitch and delivered it flawlessly.

No dice.

Now you have to start all over again. Continue reading

Posted in Recruiting, The New Breed of Volunteer | 26 Comments

The Check Engine Light of Volunteer Stress

stressed-out-volunteersHow to Recognize and Respond to
Volunteer Stress Warning Signs

Stress has been called the disorder of the 21st century. In today’s economic climate companies are stretched thin and tensions are running high. Financial problems, personal relationships, children, and the daily hassles of just being too busy top the list of 21st century stressors.

If our volunteers are normal… they’re probably stressed. So ask yourself: does their experience volunteering with you add to that stress, or relieve it?

Counselors list volunteering or “giving back” as remedies for stress. That’s why many of our volunteers sign up. Are we delivering? Are we creating that kind of climate? (Are you getting stressed just thinking about this?) Continue reading

Posted in Books, Keynote, Leadership, The New Breed of Volunteer, Uncategorized, Volunteer Engagement, volunteer management, Volunteer Retension, Workshops | 3 Comments

“Mobilizing the Power and Passion of A New Breed of Volunteer” by a Father/Son Team

New-Breed-WEB-SMIt is rare that you hear both of the McKees at the same conference. The County of Maui, Volunteer Center is presenting a workshop on January 29 from 8 am to 4 pm at the King Kamehameha Club House featuring the father and son team, Thomas and Jonathan McKee.

Thomas gives great sage leadership advice on engaging an older generation while his son, Jonathan, offers the fresh ideas and approaches on engaging the young millennials. Not only is their banter back and forth very realistic, but it’s also fun making this day a sure way to get inside the heads of the 21st century volunteer.  Articulate and succinct, they capture the essentials of unraveling the often conflicting motivations of different generations of volunteers. In their 75 years of combined volunteer leadership experience they capture the essentials of Continue reading

Posted in Baby Boomers, Books, Keynote, Leadership, Millennials, Recruiting, Volunteer Engagement, Workshops | Leave a comment

Burnout Busters — Eight tips to prevent volunteer burnout

volunteer burnoutThe 90/10% principle of volunteer involvement: 10% of the membership are burning themselves out to keep the organization on mission while 90% enjoy the benefits and do next to nothing.

When I think of that 90/10% principle, I picture a professional football game where 22 players on the field are in desperate need of rest while 100,000 spectators in the stands need some exercise.

Let’s face it, many of us have a tendency to burnout volunteers– especially our committed volunteers who serve weekly Continue reading

Posted in The New Breed of Volunteer, Volunteer Retension | 4 Comments