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Maine VolunteerFare

Last Stop- but not the end of the ride...

Published April 28, 2010

Speeding TrainIt's hard to believe, but it was in January 2009 when we first jumped on the Volunteer Management Train and began our travels through the 22 essential volunteer management practices.  ("A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resources Management")

Today, we are going to visit the "last stops" along the 22 essential volunteer management practices route.  Here they are:

20.  There is a record keeping system that regularly collects data (numerical and anecdotal) about volunteer involvement.

21.  Information about volunteer results and issues are shared with board members and other stakeholders at least twice annually.

22.  Volunteer manager is included in organizational planning.

Did you know that there is an on-line technology you can use for free to track volunteer hours, survey volunteers via email, and manage service events?  You can also post volunteer opportunities, request donations of materials or equipment, and get information on volunteer management trainings and best practices.  You can do all of this and more on www.VolunteerMaine.org.  Although the numbers of hours volunteers serve is impressive, help create a picture of what is accomplished by volunteers.  

For example: Six volunteers served 300 hours helping prepare tax returns for low income residents.  Show the impact: Volunteers helped 10 residents apply for Earned Income Tax Credit which resulted in $10,000 tax savings.  (Yes, I did completely make up those numbers.)  The second version tells us what the impact was of the volunteers' service.   

Whether you track information about what volunteers are doing on-line or otherwise, don't forget to share the volunteers' accomplishments with others in your organization, community, and the volunteers themselves.  Volunteers do so much more than "just put in hours" and you have an important role in telling the story of their accomplishments.  Don't wait for that annual report or annual volunteer recognition event!  Explore what options you can use to spread the word about volunteer accomplishments.  

Maybe you could include an article in the intra-office newsletter, organizational newsletter, or regular board reports.   Remember to include more than hours served...provide information on what was done by volunteers and what is the impact to those receiving the service!  Finally now that you are armed with all this information about what the volunteers accomplish and the impact to clients and the community, you have important information that can help your organization strategize how best to accomplish its goals and vision.  After all, volunteers are one of Maine's greatest resources!