AL!VE Professional Standards

AL!VE, in collaboration with the CCVA, has created a set of professional standards for volunteer managers. For a copy of these standards,
click here.


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What to expect when you're expecting - Guest Blogger Elisa Kosarin

I hear a lot about how the paradigm is shifting within volunteerism: volunteers are busier than ever, and many organizations are looking to engage volunteers differently. The trend is towards micro-volunteerism and short term assignments.Does this trend mean that we need to expect less from volunteers overall?Absolutely not.Opening up to new volunteer positions does not mean

Team recognition - Guest Blogger Ashley Erb

In May my organization hosted a two-day professional development conference for all of our regular employees ... nearly 480 of them. This was the second time I had been part of the planning team and overall, I really enjoyed the experience. I was able to really stretch my event planning skills in the area of logistics - anytime 480 people are involved

Meet Trudy - Guest Blogger Elisa Kosarin

Trudy, is 51 years old, lives in Fairfax VA with her software exec husband, Lance, and her youngest daughter, Angie.Angie is headed off to college in the fall and Trudy is trying to figure out what to do when she becomes an empty nester. She used to be a school teacher before raising her daughter - she loves children - but she has not worked in many years. She is wondering if there is a way she can volunteer that involves children and will challenge her - she wants to do more than read to children or tutor them.Why am I telling you about Trudy? Because she's not real.

Tips for Recognizing your Volunteers - Guest Blogger Jennifer Flowers

National Volunteer Week, happening this year from April 12-18, is the time for recognizing, celebrating and thanking individuals associated with your nonprofit association for their outstanding contributions as volunteers. It is an opportunity to honor these individuals who dedicate themselves to taking action, solving problems and accomplishing extraordinary things through volunteer service. Finally, it is a time to remember that we have the fortitude to meet

Succession planning for non-profits - Guest Blogger Jennifer Flowers, Accreditation Guru, Inc.

Every nonprofit organization will, at some point, be faced with the challenge of a change in leadership. While many of these transitions are anticipated as when a leader retires, other times an agency is faced with the dilemma of filling an unexpected opening. The key to making any leadership change

The Accidental Collaborator - Guest blogger Elisa Kosarin, CVA

In my local DOVIA, one of the most common workshop topic requests is "How to get staff on board with volunteer management." It's a complex subject, most likely because staff engagement brings us into the murky world of soft interpersonal skills. We anticipate barriers and may feel discouraged about achieving any sort of progress.Sometimes, though, a hard skill exercise goes a long way towards nurturing staff engagement.That was my recent take-away when talking with a volunteer coordinator who participated in my recruitment planning course. As part of the course

Program evaluation process leads to greater bond between volunteer manager and volunteers - Guest blogger Ashley Erb

The Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA) credentialing process discusses the topic of program evaluation at length. I found it to be one of the most thought provoking portions of the process.Inspired by the up-cropping of New Year's resolutions and the promise of improvement in the New Year, in January I set-forth on a mission to meet individually with all of my on-going volunteers and gain insight into the short-comings and success of the volunteer program beyond that which is documented by our standard, circle-the-rating-from-one-to-five, evaluation form. I wanted to just talk with my volunteers -- really

Looking for a magic number - Guest blogger Elisa Kosarin, CVA

Last month, I wrote about volunteer orientations, and about how facilitating orientations is a critical and often overlooked part of the event's success.This month, as I debated moving on to another topic, I realized there is still more to say about orientations and why they are such a valuable practice within volunteer management.That's because your volunteer orientation is the gateway into your organization. It is there to inspire the ones you want to volunteer- and screen out the prospects who are not a great fit.Don't you wonder?

How To Turn Away Volunteers and Still Have an Okay Day - Guest Blogger Elisa Kosarin

What's the absolute, no doubt about it, worst part of managing volunteers? For me, it's turning away the ones that are just not a good fit - the ones that won't work out in any of the roles that your program offers. After all, volunteers are donating their time and talents to support your cause. It's hard to reject something given so freely.I have had to reject hundreds of volunteers over the years. At first, the process was wrenching. I could feel my blood pressure rising every time I picked up the phone, knowing I was about to share news that was sure to disappoint. A conversation with an upset rejected volunteer had the potential to ruin my day.I've got some guidelines: