PowerUP! Tools You Can Use to Beef Up Your Services - Online Chat

0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this resource.
Loading ... Loading ...

Related Resources

  • You must be logged in to view this resource.

Phase:  

Beginning

On June 18, 2013, the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative held an online chat on the PowerUP! initiative and using the PowerUP! templates.

Patricia Reid, Program Associate of n4a and the Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative, and Donna Childress, of Childress Communications, facilitated a discussion that covered these topics:

Topics:

1. Using PowerUP! Materials

2. What Makes PowerUP! Unique?

3. PowerUP! Training and Outreach

4. Benefits of Self-Directed Volunteer Teams

5. Evaluating Volunteers

6. Continuing the Discussion

Please feel free to browse the discussions—and to contribute your own thoughts and questions in our online community! http://agingnetworkvolunteercollaborative.org/my-community/

1. Using PowerUP! Materials

Patricia

Just as quick background: The Aging Network’s Volunteer Collaborative is a national resource center funded by AoA/ACL to help the Aging Network engage more volunteers in more effective ways.

And one of the requests that the Volunteer Collaborative received was to provide the Aging Network a marketing campaign umbrella in older adult volunteer recruitment. A national movement to show belonging to something bigger.

A good place to start would be who has heard of the PowerUP! initiative? And, more importantly, has anyone had a chance to check out the PR materials connected to the initiative?

Jamie

I have signed up and looked through the material. Used a couple of the Facebook prompts already.

Patricia

So we’ve got a wide variety of folks here today.

Julie and Jamie: do you think you’ll use any of the materials (in addition to the ones you’ve used already, Jamie) and if so, any ideas on how yet?

Julie

I haven’t yet figured out how we will incorporate the materials with our volunteer recruitment. The basic direction of the campaign is a bit different from what we are looking for at Senior Medicare Patrol.

Amity

Great, thanks, I look forward to learning more about these materials.

Jamie

I think some would be good templates but I’m not positive how to use them in our agency right now.

Patricia

I recommend checking out the PR materials that were developed for organizations to personalize their needs in volunteer recruitment.

Donna

Does everyone know where to find the PowerUP! materials? If not, they can be accessed from the site’s home page, or http://agingnetworkvolunteercollaborative.org/powerup/.

Aimee

I plan to look at them and hope that it is a tool that I can incorporate into our volunteer program.

Donna

In addition to the templates, there’s an infographic and other materials on why to PowerUP!

Lani

Yes, that’s the population ADSD is targeting for their new volunteer program.

Julie

I would encourage everyone to look at the PR materials. They are well done. And if your agency is a social service agency, I think the message would apply quite well.

Donna

Thanks, Julie. The idea behind the templates is that they can be customized to meet your agency’s needs.

So you will have a standard design (to save you time in creation, too) that you can add contact info and brief bullets to.

Lani

Great, anything to save time.

Julie

Donna, I don’t recall…is there a poster size piece available?

Donna

There is a postcard and two print ads, but not a poster, sorry. However, if that is something people would like, we can explore it.

What do you all think – what kinds of materials do you use most? Posters, flyers, etc?

Patricia

The largest is 8.5″x11″, right, Donna?

Donna

Yes, that’s right, Patricia.

Julie

The print ads are good…but they cost lots of money to implement. Posters can be hung up in senior centers, church vestibules, gyms where seniors exercise, etc.

Lani

Flyers is what we’ve been using mostly.

Jamie

A letter size flyer would be awesome. I can also turn that into an image to use on Facebook and our website.

Amity

I agree, posters and flyers may be used the most often.

Donna

Thanks, everyone – this is great feedback about the posters and costs!

Jamie, there is a letter size flyer, so you’re in luck.

Jamie

We don’t have a budget for print ads or mailings so flyers, social media, images, and press releases would help the most for me.

Aimee

Our volunteer dept. doesn’t have a budget for marketing either.

Julie

I love the graphics and would really like to use the PowerUp! initiative in our recruiting efforts. I know we can add copy to the bottom of the flyer, but is it possible to change some of the message at the top?

Patricia

Julie – good question. What do you think, Donna?

Donna

Thanks, Julie. The message at top is standard to save time and to create the unified branding across all agencies.

Julie

I understand.

Donna

In case it helps, the top language also was drawn from studies of what language resonates most with volunteers and has had some volunteer review.

That said, this is our starting point, and we are always open to feedback!

Patricia

Julie – knowing that you work with SMP, does SMP have some standard messaging they must include or pretty flexible?

Julie

It’s very well done. But SMP doesn’t provide aging and disability services. We fight healthcare fraud through outreach and education to seniors.

Patricia….it’s pretty flexible.

Patricia

Ahhh…I understand.

Donna

Got it – and noted! Thanks, Julie.

2. What Makes PowerUP! Unique?

Kathleen

How is PowerUP! different from other volunteer initiatives?

Donna

Hi, Kathleen. I would say that it’s older adult volunteers to help other older adults is one way…

Patricia

Kathleen – teams are being introduced with this initiative, as well.

Donna

Plus we are encouraging older adults to volunteer at all levels – from serving meals to creating a strategic plan and launching a meals service (as examples).

Patricia

The PowerUP! marketing is a broader appeal to all that volunteers may be able to provide…

However, the PowerUP! training, as advertised on our homepage, focuses on the concept of utilizing volunteers in self-directed teams to help organizations.

Kathleen

Thank you for clarifying! So the message is there is an opportunity for everyone.

Donna

There is an infographic and a longer positioning statement on the website that explains more of the reasoning behind PowerUP! as well.

And yes, Kathleen – you’re right!

Kathleen

I apologize I have to get myself up to speed!

Patricia

No apologies needed – we’re glad you joined us to ask. I bet you’re not the only one who was wondering!

Donna

Yes, these are all great questions – please keep them coming!

3. PowerUP! Training and Outreach

Julie

How can we participate in the training?

Lani

Do you have on-line training available?

Kathleen

Anyone have tips for outreach to the “I just retired!” community? My theory is new retirees need about 6 months’ time to shake their sillies out, take off their watches, shut off their alarms and then are ready to hear about vol opps.

Donna

I’m going to quickly answer the training questions, and then let’s talk outreach!

Donna

Today, you should be receiving an email with info on the July 28th PowerUP! training at the n4a conference in KY.

And details are here.

Patricia

Julie: there is a details document here: http://www.n4a.org/files/training-events/annual-conference/2013/powerUP-training.pdf

Alexis

I found that having current retired active volunteers reach out to other recently retired colleagues has worked really well.

Patricia

Kathleen – agreed. Are you looking for where to find them?

Donna

Lani asked about online training – that’s not available now, but you are welcome to join the in-person ones.

Patricia

Details on the July PowerUP! training here: http://www.n4a.org/files/training-events/annual-conference/2013/powerUP-training.pdf

Kathleen

Where and then how to catch them when they are ready to talk volunteering?

Julie

Do you have any training scheduled other than the one in KY?

Patricia

Julie: Not at this time…

Donna

Tom Endres mentions some of this in a recent blog post – http://agingnetworkvolunteercollaborative.org/2013/05/what-is-powerup-training/

Lani

I’ve got a lot to catch up on your site, great info!

Patricia

Something I’ve heard about the Aging Network – and all they do – is that it’s one of the best kept secrets around.

The more the community knows about your agency and all that you provide, as well as the flexibility and options you can offer a volunteer, the better.

Donna

To marry our two most recent topics, did you know that if you have a volunteer who has a flexible schedule in July, they can join you for the training for free?

The Volunteer Collaborative will pay all of the volunteer’s costs – workshop, conference, and travel.

4. Benefits of Self-Directed Volunteer Teams

Donna

I’ve also heard that being on a team can really appeal to new retirees, as can flexibility in scheduling.

Julie

SMPs have been working with volunteers 65+ for years and my experience is that new retirees are most interested in opportunities with real flexibility.

Amity

I agree that working with a team or even just pairing up with another volunteer and sharing responsibilities offers much needed, and desired, flexibility. However, I can see some programs being intimidated by the idea of a “self-directed” volunteer team, so I look forward to learning more about that process.

Patricia

Amity: what sort of fears do you think some programs might have?

Julie

We recently recruited some “self-directed” volunteers and the fear is that you are never quite sure what they are up to.

Amity

A lot of the fears you have addressed in previous trainings/discussions, mainly a feeling of loss of “control,” especially for programs with very “set” ways of doing things.

Julie

That being said…one of them…when I was finally comfortable to let her go free…completed a task that has been on the “to-do” list for over a year. I didn’t have the experience/knowledge to get it off the ground and she got the whole thing done in about 2 weeks!

Lani

Even though they are self-directed, do you all perform evaluations of your volunteers, like performance evaluations?

Donna

These are all great points. One of the training takeaways is to have a key staff person who guides the team. Do you think that would help calm fears?

Patricia

Along with the key staff person is something like a memorandum of understanding, or a charter, that states the ground rules and expectations of both org/program and volunteers on the team.

Would that help, too?

Julie

One of the things we have struggled with is, if we need to spend the time to “guide” the team, couldn’t we just use that time to accomplish the task ourselves. It’s been VERY hard to let go, but we are seeing our volunteers do some great things.

Amity

Exactly, Julie, I think once more people/programs are open to it they will see similar results.

Jamie

Donna– for sure! It’s always good to have a system of checks and balances. Having someone check-in with them and having clear guidelines to start with should make everyone comfortable.

Julie

Next week, I have two of them participating in a webinar that I am not even going to attend. Yikes!

Donna

So it sounds like a balance between checking in with the team, yet not taking too much staff time. Good feedback – thanks!

Alexis

I think a struggle I have is explaining the potential benefit of having self-directed volunteers to staff, and having them trust that the time they put into guiding volunteers can be very rewarding.

Patricia

Alexis: would other orgs/programs who’ve had success with self-directed volunteers telling that story have more impact with your fellow staff? To show the value, rather than explain it?

Amity

I think it is important to stress that the team approach can be customized to fit the needs of the program, since not all aspects of self-directed teams would work for every program/agency.

5 Evaluating Volunteers

Patricia

Julie: do you do evaluations with your volunteers? And how did you really just “let go”, was there an “ah ha” moment?

Patricia

Julie: or perhaps “letting go” is a progression – doesn’t happen all at once!

Julie

We have not done evaluations with these particular volunteers because they are less than 6 months into the program. But we will do evals at some point. I don’t think I have had an “ah ha” moment. It’s been more like I got to know the volunteer well enough to feel “okay” with him/her going “outside the lines.”

Patricia

So trust? It sounds like trust is very important.

Alexis

I think so, but I have found it hard to find success stories that parallel our organizations services, as we are very much legal based.

Julie

RE: Performance evaluations with older volunteers. They DON”T like the idea of someone the age of their children…or younger…evaluating them. That’s been our experience. So we call it a Performance Measurement meeting. I can provide more on that it anyone is interested.

Lani

Thanks Julie, good to know, I like the name of it also.

Alexis

Julie- I am very interested.

Julie

Alexis: I have JUST the group you need to talk to. It’s the Ohio SMP program. Their non-profit is a legal group. They have been using volunteers, retired volunteers…forever!

Lani

Julie Do you have a doc you can share?

Is it the same as what SMP of Nevada would use?

Julie

Lani, not sure of your question. A document regarding the performance measurement?

Alexis

Thanks Julie I will contact them!

Lani

Yes Julie.

Julie

Alexis, program manager is Ann…oh, geez, can’t remember her last name. But tell her I told you to call.

Lani

I am developing a volunteer manual for Aging and Disability of Nevada and leveraging mostly from the SMP of Nevada.

Lani

I haven’t seen anything yet on Performance measurement.

Julie

Lani, we are still working it up. But should have it completed by end of month.

Lani

great, thanks Julie!

Patricia

Question for the group: would all be interested in continuing this conversation about performance “evals” and convincing fellow staff the value of volunteer teams?

Donna

Julie, this is great. We may want to contact Ohio as a possible case study we could post on the site to share with everyone.

Lani

Yes Patricia, it sure would help.

Alexis

Yes I agree as well.

Amity

Yes, additional training regarding teams and success stories would be helpful.

Jamie

Yes, I would love to learn specific examples- how they were started, reached their goals, got staff involved, etc.

Julie

SMP calls it Performance Evaluation…but when we started those a month or two ago, the reaction was negative. So we went back to the drawing board and came up with Performance Measurement. I got the info from a great book called Volunteer Administration by Keith Seel.

6. Continuing the Discussion

Lani

Patricia and Donna, how often do you have online chat discussions? I need to leave for my other job….

Patricia

Well, since everyone is already registered with our website, that means you have access to our online community. We’re going to get these topics posted in there for discussion.

Donna

Lani, we have them periodically (no set schedule) – but the online community and forums are always open!

Lani

Ok great Patricia, I will check out the community board daily.

Donna

Please feel free to join the discussion threads we’ll be setting up at Patricia’s suggestion.

0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5 (0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5)
You need to be a registered member to rate this resource.
Loading ... Loading ...

Leave a Comment

Name and email are required. In the name field, please enter your first name and last initial.

Accessibility

Share Your Story

How have volunteers made an impact in your organization or community? Tell us! Submit your story!

Get Our Updates

Learn more about The Aging Network's Volunteer Collaborative. Sign up!