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Volunteer Power!
Volunteer Power News - Number 92
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter

© 2011 Advantage Point Systems Publishing

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

You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up or asked to be on the list. Please recommend this e-mail newsletter or ezine to anyone who is interested in volunteer management.

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In This Issue
  1. Featured Article: Start the New Year With An Energizing, Motivational Staff Meeting with Your VolunteersóLed by You.
  2. Volunteer Power Workshop: Begin the New Year by Planning a Volunteer Power Workshop for your Leaders.
Featured Article: Start the New Year With An Energizing, Motivational Staff Meeting with Your VolunteersóLed by You
A great way to start the New Year is with energizing and stimulating staff meetings. Actually, invigorating staff meetings are great any time of the year, but I am always looking for ways to engage my paid and non-paid staff in a productive discussion to set the tone and opportunities for the new year. The rousing discussion part is not hard because most people are ready to share their opinions on most topics. What proves to be a constant challenge is the productive part. Leaders strive to have each participant walk away with some significant "take-aways that they are motivated to put to immediate use.

One way to focus your discussion is to hand out a relevant, short, informational, and motivating discussion starter. Give each staff member five to ten minutes to read the hand-out at the beginning of the meeting. A couple of years ago I had the staff over to my home for the morning. After I served them food, I handed out a short article with a few discussion questions. I was lucky in that we had a wonderful warm day (rare in Northern California for January) and they spread out all over the back yard to read and reflect. I encouraged them to mark up the article, question it, underline and circle sections or key thoughts. Then they took another ten minutes alone to jot down the answers to a few questions-- such as:

  1. What idea(s) did you pick up from the article about how to recruit an episodic volunteer and transform that volunteer into a faithful, show-up-every-week volunteer?

  2. What idea(s) can we implement to better serve our volunteers?

  3. In what ways are our structures, policies, or procedures inhibiting our ability to empower our volunteers? How can we change those structures?

  4. What is the one thing that you are not doing now, that if you would start doing, would totally change your impact with our volunteers?
Of course the questions you design would relate to the very specific article that you have chosen. In a recent workshop that I was teaching, one of the break-out groups was discussing the dating method of recruiting. The discussion leader framed a creative question and wrote it on a flip chart for her small group. The question was, "How can we create a dating service to recruit volunteers? As you can imagine, the group came alive with a plethora of dreadfully edgy suggestions, but, as so often in a brainstorming session, that group created (and owned) about five creative ideas.

I am often asked if the articles on Volunteer Power are available to copy and use as a discussion starter or a training session. The answer is "yes. An important aspect of our mission is to provide up-to-date resources for you to use with your staff, volunteer leaders or board members on how to recruit and lead the New Breed of volunteers.

To make it easier for you, so that you donít have to wade through the past newsletters, I have revised the articles page and updated the following information for you to use. Not all of them will apply to your paid and non-paid staff; however, I am sure that one of two of these articles will challenge and open up a thought-provoking discussion for your meeting. Copy them and hand them out at your meetings for active discussion, training, or your newsletter. We only ask that you also print the "Side bar information about Volunteer Power at the end of the article.

The resources are listed under two major topics: Recruiting and Leadership. Each topic is linked to our articles page.

Recruiting Leadership
Volunteer Power Workshop: Reenergize Your Volunteer Leaders with a Half-Day, Full-Day or Two-Day Volunteer Power Workshop.
The New Breed of Volunteer
A Volunteer Power Workshop
Thomas McKee
Recruiting and managing the 21st Century volunteers who want to do it their way

Looking for a keynote for your annual convention, or a motivational session for your volunteer leaders, or a workshop to help your volunteer leaders recruit and keep their volunteers? Many of the private sector organizations that have sponsored our presentations for conventions are not able to sponsor these events during these hard times. I know many of you are feeling these cuts.

I would love to help. I will work with your organization to make our fees affordable for you by trying to arrange engagements in the same area to cut travel costs.

If you are interested, send me the contact form with your budget and I'll see what I can do.

Tom McKee
Volunteer Power

Workshop Content


The 21st century volunteer culture is very different because of seismic shifts that have changed volunteer management. These shifts have impacted the volunteer organization; therefore how we recruit and manage the new breed of volunteer is a whole new game. The seismic shifts include the following:
  • Generations - Gen Y and retiring boomers-the new frontier of volunteers
  • Technology - The addition of the virtual volunteer to the face-to-face volunteer.
  • Empowerment - The knowledge worker demands to be led- not managed

The Two Leadership Factors: Guidance and Trust
  • Guidance - How much hands-on direction do I give?
  • Trust - How much confidence do I have that I can depend on the volunteer?
The Volunteer Power Management Strategy
  • Stage I - Awaken the Passion - The Pre-Volunteer - (Low Trust-Low Guidance)
    • The three levels of motivation
    • The deadly sins of recruiting volunteers
    • The dating process of recruiting
    • The "big idea" method of presenting your passion

  • Stage II - Channel the Passion -- The Passionate Beginner (Low Trust - High Guidance)
    • Communicate expectations five ways
    • Train

  • Stage III - Manage the Passion -- The Talented but often Fragile Veteran (High Trust, High Guidance)
    • Affirm the passionate who are the core of your volunteer team (recognize and reward)
    • Awaken the passion of the veteran volunteer
      • Reframe
      • Refresh
      • Re-assign
      • Re-train
      • Or - if all else fails--Retire

  • Stage IV - Empower the Passion -- The Empowered Volunteer (High Trust, Low Guidance)
    • Delegation vs. empowerment
    • How to empower the volunteer 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.

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