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Adding A Simple Twist to the Volunteer's Experience

A colleague stops me in the hallway: “I need a volunteer for a project, could you get someone for me?”

“What is the project and when do you need it completed by?” I ask, having learned from experience to begin with these details.

“I need 1,000 die cut stars by the end of the week.”

Maintaining Relationships

I recently read a blog post by Susan Ellis about building and maintaining relationships with former volunteers. (Yes she said former …) I found the article to be thought provoking as Susan pointed out that we often follow this practice with donors… no matter the size of their gifts, we keep in touch and continue to ask for more support. Most of the volunteers that I have worked with over the years have left because of a life change or added responsibilities. Only a very small percent leave on negative terms.

Coaching Volunteers

As we begin our 2015-2016 RAAVS program year with the theme “Teaming Up for Excellence” here are some coaching tips to help you be the kind of “coach” that always puts “players” first.


I have been involved with RAAVS for almost two decades and I have seen so many changes. The most drastic to me has been the membership. I recall years when the number of members were up over 125. Currently we have 66 members. We have never really taken an official poll but my gut tells me the reason for decreased membership are the changes that we are seeing in the world of nonprofit and the role of the Volunteer Administrator and whether or not that position still exists in agencies in the community.

February is National Time Management Month

Do you ever wonder who comes up with these themes? Sure, some are based on holidays or birthdays of famous people. For instance, February is also Black History Month. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and Martin Luther King Day are celebrated this month too.

Happy New Year

New Year – New Start. This is a frequent refrain heard at this time. People are busy making resolutions of self-improvement; to lose weight, to get healthier or to perhaps drop a bad habit. But are resolutions only for personal improvement? January can be the perfect time to take a look at our organizations and agencies and look at getting them healthier as well.

Linked In groups

LinkedIn Groups Group:

Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations Subject: Top 10 Resources for Nonprofits, Charities, and NGOs Sharing the top 10 resources posted to the “Social Media for Nonprofit Organizations”

LinkedIn Group in May:

1. New International Directory of Validated NGOs Launching Early 2015:

2. Should Nonprofits Give Up on Facebook?


April ….. showers – spring – the onset of new beginnings and for us in the profession – time to recognize our volunteers. In addition to showing appreciation, Volunteer Recognition events should be about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It give us all a chance to see that by working together, we can collectively meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.



 March 1st – first day of Spring
 the March equinox, gradual lengthening of days
 St. Patrick’s Day
 National Women’s History Week
 Great time of year to recruit volunteers

Personally, I’m looking forward to the first two, going to celebrate the next two and utilize the whole month on the last!

RAAVS is Turning 30!

It seems like just yesterday that we were in disbelief that RAAVS could be celebrating its Silver Anniversary and turning 25. Now here we are knocking on 30. Yes, Rochester Area Administrators of Volunteer Services has been serving the Rochester volunteer community for 30 years. It was 1984, Ronald Regan was president and would be elected to a second term, Michael Jackson was starring in Pepsi commercials, Sally Field won the Oscar for Places in the Heart and made her famous speech “You really like me,” and Ghostbusters was the top movie.

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