Friday, November 13, 2009

Your Peers Are Looking For Your Help

Over the past week has had specific requests from managers of volunteers for the items listed below. Can you help and add any of these (or anything else of course)?

  • Resources specific to volunteer led programs in hospitals
  • Orientation manuals or even outlines of the things covered in orientation
  • Guidelines for staff working with volunteers
  • Recognition Event ideas/themes etc
  • Friendly visiting position descriptions, training material and guidelines
  • Volunteer supervisor manual

This site generated a lot of buzz at the Institute for Advanced Volunteer Management in England this week and given that it was an advanced learning opportunity I was not surprised that one person pointed out the following. Templates are great to use because they save the valuable resource of your time. They do not however replace thinking. This was not the first time this important point has surfaced. Susan Ellis was emphatic about it when she and I brainstormed about the site. When I work with leaders of volunteers and are reviewing their current application form, we frequently get into a conversation about why a certain field exists on the form. When I query about why it is there, a far too frequent answer is “It was on the application form when I started here.” Just like the old application or policy manual etc. that you inherited when you accepted your position, templates created by others are resources that you can use to create what you need faster and give you ideas that you might not have thought of. They are NOT, however, a substitute for your own thought on what you need in your particular situation.

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