Communicating In New Ways

Robin Popik

Well it's not business as usual in the Volunteer sector: Instead it seems to bring us farther into the technical era with new software, online resources libraries, social media and communication tools, training and so much more. A number of our members report that they are now using Constant Contact for their newsletter to save money and to bring them closer to their volunteers.

City of Plano, Texas, departments such as Sustainability and Environmental Services, Animal Shelter, Emergency Management and Library Services are using new avenues to engage volunteers and the public. By creating Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and blogs, supervisors hope to keep everyone connected. Emergency Management utilizes Twitter to send information on weather and safety news concerning Plano.

City of Carlsbad, California has moved to an online registration and applications database, which can easily be shared with supervisors and allows volunteers enter in their personal data and track their individual hours. Others are looking at easier ways to collect feedback through Survey Monkey which is something we have all done in the past through email or snail mailings.

Since professionalism and advocacy are a priority, AL!VE is working on how to share pertinent information and engage its membership. Some of these ways include creating a searchable library with:

· Educational links to on-line Volunteer Management degrees and certifications

· Online trainings

· Non-profit career resources and planning guide

· Most recent research and statistics on volunteerism

· National and state recognitions and awards

Some of the members suggested we create a Peer /Mentoring Network where AL!VE members can share skills, program ideas and expertise and mentor one another. A number of you mentioned that we should create an avenue to connect regional groups, so they too can share information and learn from one another. Others would like us to populate the ALIVE calendar with trainings from your regions.

These are all great ideas and just the tip of the iceberg!! What we need now is to hear from you.

What would you like to see in our searchable library?
What would you like to share or learn in the Peer/Mentoring Network database?
Can you help us research one of the lists for our library?
Can you help us contact regional DOVIA’s, AVA’s and state organization?
Will you share your area webinars and trainings with us?

Learning and engaging through new ideas, new programs and new media is what will keep us ALIVE, but the board can’t do it without member participation. If you would like to be on a committee, help with research or a project, or make suggestions, please send an email to  In the subject heading, please note: library assistance or suggestions or interested in being on a committee, and we will review the information and get back to you shortly.

Newsletter - Winter 2010

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