When “Yes” Means “No”

IMG_5181My son Jonathan (co-author of The New Breed) and I just spent nine days in Kampala, Uganda, training leaders from the university, youth organizations and churches on how to engage volunteers. These leaders were full of hope and passion, and they had great questions.

One of the questions stumped me at first, but then it turned out to be a valuable learning experience for me as well as the class. I had just talked about how one of the seven deadly sins of recruiting is to assume that “no” means “no.”  I had asked what “no” often means and expected answers such as “not now,” or “not this position,” or “not with the present leadership.”  But I wasn’t expecting this answer.  One of the leaders said Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Recruiting, Volunteer Engagement | 1 Comment

The New Breed in Tweets

10580779_859480480736510_4166228323392133403_oOver the past few months I have been intrigued by what people are tweeting during my keynote speeches on mobilizing the power and passion of a new breed of volunteer (so much so, that I finally jumped on the Twitter bandwagon).

Although I always worry about being quoted out of context, I’ll risk it. See if you can determine the context, understand what each one means, and what it can mean to your organization.

Tweets during my keynote speeches Continue reading

Posted in Keynote, Leadership, Social Media, Tweets, Uncategorized, Volunteer Engagement | Leave a comment

Virtual Volunteering Guidebook

LVVG_FrontCover_final_1-8-14The LAST Virtual Volunteering Guidebook:  Fully Integrating Online Service into Volunteer Involvement—by Jayne Cravens and Susan J Ellis

A review by Thomas McKee

Finally, someone has put together a comprehensive guide to virtual volunteering—and actually much more.

Just as the smart phone has brought technology into the hands of volunteers, agencies hold in their hands a powerful tool for accomplishing their mission—IF, and this is a huge “IF”—they know how to mobilize the power of the virtual volunteer. The LAST Virtual Volunteer Guidebook (referred to as Guidebook in this review) is our manual to escort us through the changing milieu of 21st century volunteer engagement Continue reading

Posted in book review, Books, virtual volunteering | 1 Comment



For those of you really paying attention to your email last week, you might have noticed my new article about generational issues arrived in your inbox… twice. Sorry for the mistake. We are upgrading and using a better mailing system to serve you better, and think we just finished nailing the few final glitches on this new page where I’ll post my articles. So no worries… should be good now.

So let me take this opportunity to give away half a dozen books in the next few days. Let’s make it simple Continue reading

Posted in Books, Social Media | 2 Comments

Generational Issues Just Won’t Go Away

generationalconflictHow would you have responded to these comments and questions that I have received in the past few months?

  • A young 20-something millennial director of volunteers stayed after the workshop and waited until we were alone, and then she said to me, “I am having a huge problem with several of my older colleagues. They are out to sabotage my leadership.” She teared up and said, “I’ve tried everything. I used to love my job, but now I dread going to work.” She paused for a moment and then asked me, “What do you suggest I do to get them to accept my leadership?”
  • A director of volunteers who is a young baby boomer (early 50s) sent me this e-mail after a workshop Continue reading
Posted in Baby Boomers, Leadership, Millennials, Recruiting | 13 Comments

The Most Significant Factor Impacting Volunteerism

Many non-profits are merely scratching the surface of their potential in the huge numbers of volunteers they could engage because they are ignoring the number one impact factor. In fact, I believe that if non-profits don’t take this factor seriously, they could be out of business in ten years.

  1. What is this factor?
  2. What is the impact of this factor?
  3. What does it mean for non-profits for engaging volunteers?

What is that factor?

It is not technology, the change in family dynamics, episodic volunteers, or today’s hectic, busy life style that is challenging volunteer leaders the most. Although these factors are significant and challenging, the most subtle and often overlooked but most important cultural change that is affecting the future of volunteerism is Continue reading

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