Is your organization ready to change the way it uses volunteers? Take a quick readiness assessment. The answers will help you identify

  • What you can do now to position your organization to tap older adult volunteers.
  • When you are poised for success.

Not quite ready? Here are some ways to prepare your organization.

Consider Attending PowerUP! Training Institute

PowerUP! training is transformative in how the Aging Network thinks about and engages older adult volunteers! PowerUP is a win-win for Aging Network organizations/programs in providing services and for the emerging new breed of volunteers! PowerUP is a win for:

  1. The Aging Network as national leaders and innovators in learning how to tap the social capital of older adults,
  2. The Aging Network in becoming the go to source in communities for mobilizing and engaging a new breed of volunteers in meeting community needs, and
  3. Legislatively defined Network programs—like SMP, SHIP and Ombudsman—in increasing their capacity and impact.

Training Institute DETAILS

PowerUP! is not just another volunteer training initiative. It is training that is transformative, generative and sustainable. PowerUP! Training:

  • Is based on latest research and demonstrations in the field
  • Is custom designed for and unique to the Aging Network
  • Positions the Aging Network on the leading-edge of older adult civic engagement
  • Provides a strategy and tools for the Network to tap the social capital for its own mission, and to help others use it to solve community problems
  • Reduces startup investment
  • After startup, produces an increased rate of return on volunteer engagement – as high as 8:1
  • Generates opportunities to engage a variety of older adults from all socioeconomic backgrounds
  • Empowers older adults to lead and organize
  • Is generative, spawning new teams, and greater engagement opportunities, and creating a ladder for engagement that provide choice of assignment and levels of involvement
  • Aligns the mission critical needs of organizations/programs with the expectations of today’s volunteers

Viewable/downloadable resources and information:

Training Institute participants will:

  • Assess organizational readiness to utilize self-directed teams and have tools to expand organizational capacity.
  • Learn the metrics to assess the impact that teams are achieving, with the means to replicate.
  • Uncover new strategies to utilize volunteers within their organization and community.
  • Generate fresh interest in their organization while engaging different types of volunteers and utilizing current volunteer skills in capacity-building roles.
  • Understand the nuances of teams at work, learn how to position the teams for success within organizations, guide them to achieve shared goals, sustain team members over time, understand the ins and outs of teams in practice, and learn how to develop teams to become self-directed.
  • Tap into expertise with technical assistance to help teams develop, take root and flourish.

Participants will leave the training with a vision for their teams, tools to keep going and the support to help get there. Now that the training design and curriculum are set, the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative wants to build a lasting capacity.  The Volunteer Collaborative will schedule ten (10) trainings between January 1 and September 1, 2014, in central geographic locations across the country to orient staff and train volunteers in the PowerUP! strategy of engaging skilled volunteers and leading self-directed teams.

Ready to reserve your spot?  Submit your LETTER OF INTEREST today.

Challenges

Understand that leaders of organizations may not

  • See a compelling case to invest resources in older adult volunteers.
  • Take full advantage of the work styles and experiences of adults aged 55+.
  • Have a way to measure, compare and contrast strategies for engaging older volunteers.

Solutions

Solutions require a change in leader and staff mindset and organizational culture. These elements lead to successful volunteer programs:

  • Vision of age as an asset.
  • Recognition that readiness takes change and time.
  • Buy-in at every level.
  • A strategy for culture change.
  • Community partnerships to expand a program’s impact.
  • New management processes.
  • Volunteer roles that build capacity and give volunteers both autonomy and accountability.
  • New approaches to volunteer recruiting and messaging.
  • Volunteer training.
  • A new staff-volunteer relationship; teamwork.
  • Open communication and openness to learning.

A Place to Start

  • For your next staff meeting, add an agenda item on the roles of volunteers at your organization.
  • Before the meeting, ask staff members to think about one role they would like a skilled volunteer to play, if the right person could be found. At the meeting, ask each person to share.
  • Then ask group members to discuss what is keeping them from recruiting volunteers like these.
  • For your next conversation, bring the list of roles and obstacles so the group has a starting point for discussions.

Resources

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