Friday, August 24, 2012

Volunteer Recruitment Discussion, Sunday 8/26

I led an informal discussion about volunteer recruitment on Sunday, Aug. 26 in the Webheads Elluminate forum. The recording can be seen here. See description of this discussion on the Learning2Gether site.

This discussion was focused on learning ways educators and non profits are recruiting and utilizing volunteers as tutors and/or mentors in school and non-school programs throughout the world. Dan would like to draw information from participants. Below is a list of questions that I intended to ask:
* Where do your find volunteers?

* What are your expectations for your volunteers? Where do you share this information?

* Describe your volunteers. Are they business people, college students, community residents?

* How long do your volunteers stay involved with you? Less than a year? One or two years? More than two years?

* How do you tell your story to show volunteers how and why they should join you? If you use a web site, blog or video, please share links.

* How do you screen volunteers? What is your interview process?

* Once you have volunteers how do you train and support them?

Unfortunately, only two other people joined me in the discussion. One was Vance Stevens, who has led the Webheads network's growth since the early 1990s and who is located in Abu Dhabi. Vance and I first connected in 2004 when the Webheads group co-sponsord a tutor/mentor on-line conference while I was hosting a place-based conference in Chicago.

The second was John Hibbs, who has been hosting a Global Learn day since the late 1990s. Here's an introduction from John in the 2004 event. Here's some photos from Global Learn Day VI which I participated in from Chicago. John is now focusing on Coursera, which is a new platform for massive on-line learning that is partnering with "the top universities in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free".

Since we did not have any tutor/mentor program leaders in the discussion to give feedback on their volunteer recruiting practices we used the time to talk about ways on-line networks like Webheads or Coursera could incorporate questions like this into their own efforts, reaching thousands more potential participants than the few I'm able to bring to the conferences in Chicago or gather in my social networking spaces.

I encourage you to listen in to the one hour recording. Follow the text chat box to find questions and ideas that are being shared while I was pushing out information through the Elluminate screen. If these topics interest you, join the Tutor/Mentor Connection forum on Ning to expand your ideas of where, why volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs are needed and how people in all sectors of society can help them grow.

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