Lynch Associates
Volunteer Management Workshops

The following workshops are based on material from Rick Lynch and Steve McCurley's book Volunteer Management , the best selling book in the field. Each can be presented in a variety of time frames.

Moving from Supervision to Leadership

Today's volunteer is less likely to respond to traditional forms of supervision than volunteers of yesteryear. In order to engage them productively, we need to lead them not supervise them. In this session, the five functions of creative leadership are explored, and participants improve their skills in leading others. These skills enable volunteer program managers to create a better future for their volunteers and for the people served by the organization.

Strategic Volunteer Management

An effective volunteer program supports an organization's strategic plan. In this session, participants learn the five steps of the strategic planning process and how they can build a strategic volunteer program even when the organization doesn't have a strategic plan. Such a program enables an organization to engage volunteers in mission-critical activities that the organization cannot afford to pursue with paid staff alone. By adopting this strategic focus, organizations can escape their financial constraints and have a greater impact than ever before.

Measuring Volunteer Outcomes

One of the reasons volunteer programs are undervalued is that they do not measure the volunteer impact. Most programs can tell you the hours volunteers put in and many can tell you the dollar value of those hours, but they are too often at a loss to describe what was accomplished through those hours. In this session, participants will learn how to define the desired outcomes of the volunteer program. They will then learn the two key steps to measuring those outcomes. In the session, participants will apply the information to their own programs.

Moving Beyond the Human Resources Model of Volunteer Management

Everything is changing in volunteer management. Today's and tomorrow's volunteers are very different than the people who have traditionally volunteered, and as a consequence, volunteer management must change as well. In this session, participants learn why this is so and learn six changes they will need to make in in their volunteer programs in order to attract and retain volunteers in the future. In the workshop, all will participate in formulating a new model of volunteer involvement and gain skills in making it work.

Strategies for Keeping Volunteers in the 21st Century

Today's volunteer is different than the volunteers for whom the standard model of volunteer management was developed. As a result, new strategies for retaining them need to be employed. In this highly interactive workshop, participants learn how to tap the key motivations of volunteers so that they will want to keep coming back. Participants learn management and communication skills that enhance volunteer self-esteem, create a strong sense of volunteer loyalty, and create an environment that helps volunteers look forward to contributing.

Targeting the Recruitment Message to Specific Populations

In this workshop, participants will learn to think through a targeted recruitment campaign from design to implementation. Using this process, the volunteer program manager will be able to tailor a powerful recruitment message that speaks directly to the motivational needs of a particular segment of the community. This method makes it easier to diversify the volunteer pool and to reach populations that are hard to find. Participants will learn the seven steps of the targeted recruitment process and will receive help in applying them to their own situations.

The Customer Service Principles of Volunteer Management

Excellent volunteering projects treat their volunteers in much the same way that outstanding customer service organizations treat their customers. In this workshop, participants will learn some of the basic principles of customer service and will learn how to apply these techniques to enhance their retention of committed volunteers. Participants will examine what volunteers think about as customers during different points of their relationship with the organization, and learn how to adjust their system of working with volunteers to better match their needs.

The Key to Retention

Volunteer turnover creates a constant, time-consuming need to recruit, interview, and train new people. In this session, Volunteer Program Managers learn how to create a positive motivational climate that keeps volunteers coming back. Participants learn management and communication skills that enhance volunteer self-esteem, create a strong sense of volunteer loyalty, and create an environment that helps volunteers look forward to going to work.

High-Impact Recruiting

In this workshop, participants learn to create a powerful recruitment message that attracts motivated and competent volunteers. Participants will learn to use marketing techniques to diversify their volunteer force. In the workshop, they will create messages that will increase the proportion of qualified candidates they attract.

Designing Volunteer Jobs for Results

Although most managers are unaware of it, many volunteer jobs are designed so that they make communication and supervision difficult, obscure the quality of performance, and even lead to volunteer alienation. In this workshop, participants will learn how to create a job that is intrinsically motivating. Participants learn to design volunteer work so that volunteers feel pride, accomplishment, and a sense of personal effectiveness. Following the four principles laid out in the workshop, participants will be able to develop jobs for volunteers (or staff) so that results are achieved as economically as possible and so that the volunteer gets maximum satisfaction from his or her work. Participants also learn how to design high-impact work for volunteers and to make the volunteer program an intrinsic part of the agency's strategic plan.

The Customer Service Principles of Volunteer Management

Excellent volunteer programs treat their volunteers in much the same way that outstanding customer service organizations treat their customers. In this workshop, participants will learn some of the basic principles of customer service and will learn how to apply these techniques to enhance their retention of committed volunteers.

Communicating with Volunteers

Communication is vital to maintaining a successful volunteer program. The way you talk to volunteers and keep them informed will impact their decision to stay or leave. This extremely practical workshop answers questions that commonly occur in the minds of volunteer program managers, such as: ”How frequently should I contact my volunteers?” “How do I give volunteers bad news?” “What information should be included in a newsletter?” “How do I determine what information is vital for volunteers to have?” and “What are the major methods of communicating with volunteers?”

Developing an Environment that Supports Volunteers

This highly interactive, advanced level session builds on the knowledge participants will have acquired in past workshops and in their careers. This unique session equips participants to create a work environment in which volunteers are welcomed and valued and make the maximum contribution to the agency. In the session, the instructor will help participants take a holistic approach to the involvement of volunteers, bringing together learning on customer service, leadership, self-esteem, and volunteer-staff relationships.

Volunteer Interviewing: Selecting the Right Person for the Right Job

The biggest difference between volunteer management and managing paid employees lies in the interview process. In fact, the principles of effective volunteer interviewing are in some sense the opposite of those that work for paid people. In this highly interactive workshop, participants learn the techniques of effective interviewing and learn to insure the motivation of their volunteer force by selecting the right person for the right job.

Involving Professionals as Volunteers

Charities can achieve much more of their potential through the systematic involvement of volunteers with professional skills. Doing so enables an organization to escape many of its financial constraints. By engaging volunteers in non-traditional roles — as graphic designers, marketing experts, web site designers, or management coaches, for example — a charity can take advantage of skills it could never afford to buy. This workshop equips volunteer managers with the ability to identify jobs for professional volunteers, recruit them, and work with staff to overcome barriers to involvement.

Coaching Volunteers for Performance Improvement

Sometimes, volunteers may need a little coaching to do their roles well. Too often, the attempt to help volunteers learn their role happens in a way that seems like criticism to the volunteer, and volunteer discouragement or turnover may result. In this workshop, participants learn and practice skills in improving volunteer performance through the application of coaching techniques.

Basics of Volunteer Management

This workshop, which can be presented in either three or four day formats, is conducted by two of the world’s leading authors and trainers in the field of volunteer management. The seminar is a comprehensive, skill-building experience that prepares participants to succeed in all aspects of managing a volunteer program within an organization.

Advanced Volunteer Management

This workshop, which can be presented in either three or four day formats, is intended for those who have been to a basic course in volunteer management and want to develop advanced skills. The workshop is conducted by two to four of the world’s leading authors and trainers in the field of volunteer management. The seminar is a comprehensive, skill-building experience that prepares participants to bring out the full value of their volunteer programs.