Volunteer engagement

Reasons I love working with volunteers

1. Volunteers are connected to the larger whole through the gift of their free time.
2. Volunteers serve a community.
3. Volunteers help others people learn the story of your organization
4. Volunteers put what they've learned into action.
4. Volunteers fulfill the organization's mission
5. Volunteers get the word out about what your organization is doing.
6. Volunteers are connected to the organization's mission
7. Volunteers often take on other important roles in the organization ( ladder of engagement ).

What am I missing? Email me at judith (at) judithkconsulting.com.

Websites

David Armano :

"Your website should provide value to all of your users. If you can get them to participate, then do whatever it takes achieve that. In other words, it doesn't matter if your site looks more or less like a blog, what matters is if you're doing something to transform behavior from the passive to the active. Participatory behavior leads to better interactions between people, brands, businesses etc. So the real question is— are you designing for participation? Your answer should be, yes. If your Website doesn't do that, kill it. Then bring it back to life into something that does."

House parties

House parties are a great way to raise money in these volitile economic times, when it's important to hold our top donors close. If you have major donors who love you and love your organization and your cause, ask them about doing a house party. You will see old friends, and meet new people.

People always seem to think that you have to chase new supporters down, but the truth is that the friends you have now are the keys to make new friends. They will spread the word about the wonderful work your organization is doing.

Every castle needs a foundation, and your current supporters are the cornerstones. Start building your castle by organizing house parties with your most ardent supporters.

Your current supporters connect with the relevance of your work, and other people resonate with it when they talk about it. What's relevant is what people talk about and what people are passionate about.

How to facilitate big changes

It's challenging to get people's attention amist the sea of options that are vying for people's attention. Here is a formula to help organizations stand out in to all kinds of overstimulating situations, including on the web.

1. Greetings and invitations to participate.

2. Gifts that are relevant to the change.

3.  Opportunities to participate in interactions that are meaningful, relevant and fun.

4. Clear action items.

5. Documentation and follow up - It's important to include different kinds of feedback loops so that you will learn things over time.

You can map this kind of cycle onto just about any kind of group situations. The important thing is that people have full choice about what they are getting involved in.

Economic crisis blog

There are many indications that there is less and less money out there for charities, due to the economic crisis. http://philanthropy.com/news/updates/index.php?id=7636

At the same time, I see tremendous opportunities for scrappy, nible nonprofits to really thrive in a volitile economy. Buckle down and get ready for a dramatic ride. All bets are off as far as what is going to happen with the dollar or the credit markets. I doubt we'll ever see any semblence of "normal" economic activity again in our lifetimes. (I was born in 1972, so I've never been through any kind of serious economic meltdown like the one we're going through right now.)

These are very exciting times to be in the nonprofit sector. Things could get very interesting. We may have to create a simpler economic system, that is based on goodwill and shared interest. There are many ways that the nonprofit sector can adapt in a volitile economy.

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