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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 58
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter

© 2008 Advantage Point Systems Publishing

A warm welcome to all volunteer managers-those of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.

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In This Issue
  1. Featured Article: The Power of Emotions - Forget your statistics and use the power of one when you recruit.
  2. New Volunteer Power Workshop - The Balancing Act: How to balance the two volunteer management factors-trust and guidance
  3. Order Tom's Books -
  4. Hear Tom McKee Live Listen to an MP3 of a ten-minute sample keynote presentation by Tom McKee, The Power of Volunteer Passion

Featured Article: The Power of Emotions -- Thomas W. McKee Feelings inspire people to act-not facts
Perhaps one reason that your recruiting numbers are down is that you are not using emotional pleas to get volunteers. That sentence really turns me off. Do I have to resort to emotions rather than substance to recruit? I don't like that.

But, would you believe that Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Harvard Business School recommends emotional pleas over factual pleas for getting people to care? I was surprised by their recommendation for getting people involved.

I just read a new book last week on an airplane-it is a fast read and I was so taken with this book that my airline trip of two legs from the Midwest to the West Coast flew by (any book that can do that is worth far more than the price of the book).

Chip and Dan Heath's book, Made to Stick, Why some Ideas Survive and Others Die, is a must for any leader. They share an interesting experiment at Carnegie Mellon University to try and decide if people respond to helping "one" or the "masses".

The researchers offered five dollars to participants who had just completed a survey (the survey was insignificant). Upon completion of the survey each participant received along with their five dollars an envelope with a request for a charity-request letter giving them an opportunity to donate some of their five dollars to Save the Children.

The researchers tested two versions of the request letter. As you read these, ask, "Which one would you respond to?" and then ask, "Which one did the people in the test respond to?"

Version One:
  • Food shortages in Malawi are affecting more than 3 million children.
  • In Zambia, severe rainfall deficits have resulted in a 42 percent drop in maize production from 2000.
  • As a result, an estimated 3 million Zambians face hunger.
  • Four million Angolans-one third of the population-have been forced to flee their homes.
  • More than 11 million people in Ethiopia need immediate food assistance.
Version Two:
  • Any money you donate will go to Rokia, a seven-year-old girl from Mali, Africa. Rokia is desperately poor and faces the threat of severe hunger or even starvation. Her life will be changed for the better as a result of your financial gift. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Save the Children will work with Rokia's family and other members of the community to help feed and educate her and provide basic medical care and hygiene education.
The researchers gave the participants the two different letters, then left them alone to make a decision how much money, if any, to put back into the envelope. On average those who read the statistics contributed $1.14. But those who read the story of Rokia, gave $2.38-more than twice as much.

In the words of Mother Teresa, "If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will." It seems that most people have something in common with Mother Teresa. When it comes to our hearts, one individual trumps the masses. But the researchers concluded something else, and this is what is significant for us. When people put on their analytical hat, they're less likely to think emotionally.

The authors are not against the use of statistics. After all Chip Heath is a professor at Stanford and Dan Heath is a former researcher at Harvard. They are used to facts and statistics. But what the brothers are saying is that for people to act, they need more emotion. Just because people believe there is a problem does not mean that people care enough to act. The brothers say, "This chapter is not about pushing people's emotional buttons, like some kind of movie tearjerker. Rather, the goal of making messages ‘emotional' is to make people care. Feelings inspire people to act." The message must move from the head to the heart.

What was true for Mother Teresa is good advice for the volunteer manager when it comes to recruiting. Why do people volunteer? Is it the masses or is it the one?

The 21st century volunteers want to make a difference, they don't want to just make a contribution. When you present your recruiting brochures, your letters, your speeches and most of all your one-on-one pitches, tell your Rokia stories. Focus on the emotional story of how they can help one person.

I follow this simple outline:
  • Benefit - Why
  • Expectation - What
  • Story - The Rokia story
Start off by saying, "In order to . . .(think benefit to the person)
Follow the benefit by stating what you want: "I could use your help to . . ."
And then tell the story.

In your recruiting training with your volunteer mangers, use this outline to have people develop their presentations and stories.

New Volunteer Power Workshop: The Balancing Act -- Thomas W. McKee How to balance the two volunteer management factors: trust and guidance
Workshop Objective:
  • Since every year American volunteers donate roughly about $20 billion hours of their time and the annual estimated dollar value on that donated time is about $225 billion (www.networksforgood.org), you will learn how to stir up, mobilize, excite and motivate volunteers to take an active, committed role in your mission.
  • At the end of this workshop you will know how to balance the hands-on management (guidance) you need to use with your volunteers with how much trust you can give to your volunteers. Bottom line: How much decision making authority do I give to my volunteers who want to be empowered?
Workshop Content:
The two volunteer management factors:
  • Trust: Trust is an attitude. It involves the amount of confidence you have in your volunteers so that you don't worry about their actions. You feel free in turning them loose. The more trust you have the more sleep you get at night.
  • Guidance: Guidance is a behavior. It involves the hands-on direction you give to your volunteers in their problem-solving and decision making.
The Four stages of volunteer management

Stage one: Recruiting Stage - The curious observer
The three reasons people volunteer
Permission recruiting

Stage two: The Passionate Beginner - channeling all that passion
Communicate expectations five ways
Use the effective position charter
Train the beginner
Hold accountable
Recognize and reward

Stage Three: The Talented Veteran - Delegation Stage
Delegation vs. empowerment
Why volunteers lose their passion
Re-energize the bored, tired, and discouraged volunteer
Manage the high-maintenance volunteer

Stage Four: The Dependable Leader - Empowerment Stage
How to empower without dropping the ball

Tom's Books: The New Breed and/or They Don't Play My Music Anymore
The New Breed


Here's a glimpse of the Table of Contents:

Introduction: The Common Predicament
Where It All Begins

Chapter 1: Who Is the New Breed of Volunteer?
   A Profile of the 21st Century Volunteer

Chapter 2: Recruiting the New Breed of Volunteers
   The "Courting" Relationship

Chapter 3: Finding the New Breed of Volunteers (Not Scaring Them Away)
   The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting Volunteers

Chapter 4: Tapping into Two New Breeds of Volunteers
   Retiring "Boomers" and "Generation @"

Chapter 5: Motivating the New Breed of Volunteers
   Discover Three Levels of Motivation

Chapter 6: Empowering Volunteers to Do It Their Way
   Move from Delegation to Empowerment

Chapter 7: Managing the Virtual Volunteer
   Virtual Volunteers and Using Technology

Chapter 8: Managing High Maintenance Volunteers
   Performance Coaching the Volunteer from Hell

Chapter 9: Leading the Successful Volunteer Organization
   Mobilize the Collective Power of Volunteers

Chapter 10: A Leadership Case Study
   A Fable of How to Do It Right

  • Sample Position Charter
  • Sample Project Charter
  • Interview Guide for Hiring a Paid "Volunteer Manager"
  • Sample Questionnaire for Virtual Volunteers
  • Sample Board Code of Conduct
  • Strategic Planning Retreat - Agenda of Questions
  • SWOT Analysis Form
  • Ice-Breakers and Openers
  • Team Building Activities
  • Sample Training Exercise-A Case Study:


Plan Your Future
When the World
Keeps Changing

Get Tom's Inspiring Book

As we try to navigate the 21st Century in this increasingly fast-paced and technology-driven world, many people are drowning in our culture of unremitting change. In the innovative book, They Don't Play My Music Anymore, Thomas McKee presents a creative approach to facing personal and professional change. He offers eight essential principles that can help you gain the confidence to face an unknown future. Using these techniques, you will develop a new thinking frame by which to approach your future with hope and confidence as you learn to embrace change instead of merely reacting to it.


Tom's Eight Principles
Will Help You Gain the Confidence
To Face an Unknown Future

"In a world where change seems to be happening faster than the five miles every second the Space Shuttle travels, They Don't Play My Music Anymore offers a practical, common sense approach to not only surviving this frenetic pace of change, but building and growing from it. Incorporating Tom's methodology as I chose to make a change in my profession has helped me map out and launch into new adventures in many ways as exciting as the three space missions I flew. I very highly recommend applying these principles!"
Rick Searfoss, NASA Astronaut
and Space Shuttle Commander

Hear Tom McKee Live: Listen to an MP3 of a ten-minute sample keynote presentation by Tom McKee, The Power of Volunteer Passion
Thomas McKee
Who Takes the Fall When Your
Keynote Speaker is Just

You Do!

You can count on Thomas McKee for any size group. He has spoken to over one half million people in Europe, Africa and the United States over the past 35 years and has worked with some of America's top corporations, organizations and associations.
(More info about Tom here)


Click here to listen

Tom McKee is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at tom@volunteerpower.com. Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com

For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.

Resource Highlight: Take a Peek at Our New Website
The New VolunteerPower.com is live! Words cannot describe it... take a peek for yourself! www.VolunteerPower.com

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