VIEWS: 10 PAGES: 20 POSTED ON: 7/13/2011
Building Social Capital With a First Rate Volunteer Program Anne B. Schink, Consultant in Volunteer Management Training and Facilitation Social Capital Robert Putnam, Bowling Alone Network of relationships that yield benefits to those who are part of the network. Connections among individuals create social networks that reinforce norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness Social capital is the key to unlocking all the other essential forms of capital that nonprofits need: financial, human, and political. The Charismatic Organization: Strong Core and Cycle of Growth Resources Active Contributed Outreach Meaningful Grow the Core Involvement Two kinds of Social Capital Bonding—the links that tie a group together Bridging—the links that connect a group to others outside of its organization or network Bonding Social Capital Build a strong organizational core 1. Mission-driven motivation 2. Can-do culture 3. Data-driven decision making 4. Purposeful innovation 5. People-focused management Bridging Social Capital Build a strong external network 6. Compelling communications 7. Active outreach 8. Meaningful involvement Volunteer Management System-centered Elements of Volunteer Resources Management Checklist Volunteer-centered Flexible Fast Friendly Focused 1. Mission-driven motivation Written statement of philosophy related to volunteer involvement Periodic needs assessment to determine how volunteers should be involved to address the mission 1. Mission-driven motivation Volunteer resources manager and fund development manager work closely together Volunteer resources manager involved in top-level planning 2. Can-do culture Organizational culture is the organization’s personality or character: the shared beliefs, values, assumptions and expectations and norms that shape the organization. Written position descriptions for volunteer roles Written policies and procedures for volunteer involvement Organizational budget reflects expenses related to volunteer involvement Consistent general orientation for new volunteers Consistent training for new volunteers regarding specific duties and responsibilities 3. Data-driven decision making Regular collection of information (numerical and anecdotal) regarding volunteer involvement Volunteer involvement is linked to organizational or program outcomes 4. Purposeful innovation Periodic risk management assessment related to volunteer roles Liability insurance coverage for volunteers Periodic assessment of volunteer performance Periodic assessments of staff support for volunteers 5. People-focused management Orientation for new paid staff about why and how volunteers are involved in the organization’s work Designated manager/leader for overseeing management of volunteers agency-wide Designated supervisors for all volunteer roles 5. People-focused management Consistent activities for recognizing volunteer contributions Consistent activities for recognizing staff support for volunteers Feedback loop from volunteer to supervisor to manager of volunteers. Informal check-ins. Staff support. Formal recognition through awards, events, benefits. Opportunities for professional growth Chart an advancement path. 6. Compelling communications Information related to volunteer involvement is shared with board members and other stakeholders at least twice yearly Celebrate accomplishments and benchmarks Share the information widely 7. Active outreach Specific strategies for ongoing volunteer recruitment Recruitment is the third step (Susan Ellis) Organizational readiness Well designed program Know what you are looking for Target your recruitment Go directly to GO! Prepare relevant materials (organization and position descriptions, training requirements, and time commitments) Connect the dots. Make sure they know where to go, how to get to the right person, and what you expect from them. 8. Meaningful involvement Standardized screening and matching procedures for determining appropriate placement of volunteers Matchmaking and retaining volunteers Make sure you know what brings satisfaction to the volunteer. Be really clear about expectations. Adapt your plan to suit the individual, not the other way around. Supervision. Who is the volunteer accountable to? Ensure that this is a good fit before you hand off the volunteer to the supervisor. Volunteer-Centered Recruitment and Engagement Establish clear expectations both in terms of the work and the time involved. Engage in interactive interviewing. This is about achieving the best fit for both individual and organization, not squeezing a person into a pre-designed position. Define mutually satisfying outcomes. Conduct a thorough skills inventory. Find out all the skills the person has, not just the ones you think you are looking for. You may be surprised by what you find. Volunteer-Centered Recruitment and Engagement Flexible Flexible means that the job fits the needs of the volunteer, not the other way around. Fast Fast means that you need to respond quickly to inquiries or the person will go elsewhere. Friendly Friendly means an open and supportive atmosphere where the volunteer’s skills, time, and interests are respected and used effectively, and the person feels welcome in the organization. Focused • Focused means time limited with measurable outcomes, deadlines, and expectations. Resources Good websites for resources www.volunteermaine.org www.energizeinc.com www.handsonnetwork.org www.nationalserviceresources.org Contact Anne Schink: email@example.com www.absconsultingmaine.com
"Building Social Capital"