Monthly Archives: November 2013

Black Friday Volunteer Challenge

Today is the day to look for bargains, and many are spending their time scrolling the web for the best deals. So I propose that you also scroll for volunteer opportunities. Check out your local volunteer centre or volunteer page of your local charity, or national volunteer databases and see what is available. Many sites like Charityvillage have hundreds of positions posted, or even Volunteer Canada which will have links to local sites.

remember, not all positions are posted, if you have a skills to share, contact the volunteer coordinator to talk about what you can do.

Happy Volunteer Shopping


Volunteer Management Workshops Available

Listing of workshops offered by Lori Gotlieb2013/14

Lori Gotlieb Consulting


Title: Marketing Your Volunteer Program: Are you buying or selling volunteerism. (half day)


Outline of workshop: Many volunteer programs promote the big picture of “why you should volunteer” and not always on who, where, when and why of volunteering. Are we marketing our programs to attract the right people at the right time? Are we just focusing on the selling and not the buying? This hands on workshop will look at target marketing and mass marketing techniques and how to recognize the differences between buying and selling volunteers for your programs.

We will look at the key ingredients to marketing a volunteer program and you will come out with tools for:

  • Targeted recruitment strategies.
  • Mass marketing strategies?
  • What motivates volunteers?
  • How to revitalize your marketing and      promotions.


Title: Youth Volunteers: What makes them tick and how do we engage them (1 to 2 hours flexible)


Outline of workshop: Volunteer programs these days require the flexibility to embrace our many different types of volunteers. Youth are a unique and excited cohort that want to help but don’t always feel that they fit in.

This workshop will outline the steps to a vibrant youth volunteer program. We will look at the volunteer management cycle under the youth lense and see where and when we can tailor our program to engage and excite youth to join us.

Title:  Connecting to the Boomer Volunteer

( 1 to 2 hours flexible)

Outline of workshop: Many an article has been written about the baby boomer but we still struggle to find engaging and meaningful work for this group. How do we engage a group that is highly skilled, willing to share and yet wants something in return?

We will assess the uniqueness of the boomer volunteer and learn how to successfully plan and market for this group. We will build a strategy to attract, screen and engage them in meaningful contributions.

Title: Tapping into the corporate culture, where do we go from here

How to work with both individuals and groups (half day)

Outline of workshop: This workshop will examine the different types of professional volunteers and how we can tap into this rich resource. There are many layers of partnerships that can be formed with many different types of professionals. We will look at how we can form partnerships with a variety of businesses and employees. What are the different types of relationships we can form? How do we find them? How do we nurture them? What is the difference in the rural vs. urban community?

Learning Objectives:

Who is a professional volunteer?

How do we adjust our administrative systems to respond to the professional world?

What are the different types of motivational factors?

What type of volunteerism is out there for the corporations to get involved in?

Volunteering for career development

Strategies to go from short term to long term relationships

We will look at different types of relationships

We will look at how to say thank you the right way

Title: Volunteer Management 101 for the 21st century volunteer (full day, but can be customized to half day) 

Level: General, basic for those learning, advanced for those looking to re-energize their programs

Should be a full day volunteer workshop

Outline of workshop: The world of volunteer management is rapidly changing. As administrators of volunteers we must understand and respond to the variety of volunteers, both traditional and new. We need to develop systems to work with the “new” volunteer such as schools, corporations and community groups, multi-generational volunteer while still supporting our “traditional” volunteer.

This exciting workshop will take the basic model of volunteer management and shake it up for the volunteers of today.

Learning Objectives: This hands on workshop is for administrators who want to re-energize and re-evaluate their programs.

  • They      will learn to respond to the changing volunteer environment.
  • The      key ingredients in the volunteer management cycle.
  • Targeted      recruitment strategies.
  • What      motivates volunteers?
  • Effective      screening tools.
  • How      to revitalize your volunteer recognition program.

Title: What comes after “hello”. How to interview and screen the “right “ volunteer. (half day) 

This workshop looks at the tools necessary to prepare for placing the right volunteer into the right position. We look at the goals for developing an interview and screening process. We will also look at determining fit and asking the right questions to fit the positions required.

This workshop will look at the key components to interviewing and screening for specific positions including what questions to ask that are appropriate to get the key information to base a decision.

We will also discuss orientation and training techniques for various tasks and finally we will discuss how to say no to a volunteer that is not the right fit.

Title: Managing Risk Workshop(half day and full day available)

This workshop looks at all the components of managing risk in your volunteer program.

Many volunteer positions have potential aspects that can be deemed as risk potential for both agencies and volunteers.

We will look at risk management tools through the eyes of the volunteer management cycle and how we can minimize potential problems.

We will look at what screening is and the appropriate tools to use for screening.

This can be an interactive workshop with opportunities for participants to work in small groups to discuss areas of risk that are common and develop solutions for these risks

Title: Working with special needs volunteers (half day) 

This workshop focuses on how to be inclusive in your volunteer program.

We look at what are special needs, how to recruit, train and retain volunteers with special needs. We will also look at the volunteer management cycle with a lense on accommodations and expectations. 

Title: Virtual Volunteering (half day) 

Many volunteers are looking for opportunities to engage from virtual locations. With the expectation that organizations may offer virtual volunteering opportunities, we will look at how you can build a volunteer base that can dedicate their volunteer hours from home or office. What kind of volunteering do you have to offer that can be done from any where? What measures do you have to have in place that will both support the volunteer and respond to your needs to manage the process.

Title: Advocating from within (half day) 

This workshop will look at how administrators of volunteers can build support from within the organization. How do we get others to include us in the planning process from strategic planning to day to day activities.

As a profession, it is important to be part of the proactive process not to be reactive to the problems. We bring to the table a wealth of experience and expertise in many diverse areas. We will look at these and discuss how to engage and involve others in our program.

Lori Gotlieb is the President of Lori Gotlieb Consulting. Lori was the 2012 recipient of the Linda Buchanan Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management. She is a community and corporate resource expert in volunteerism. Lori is an internationally published author and workshop facilitator who has taught workshops to many different audiences across Canada. Lori is a contributing author of the recently published academic book called the Volunteer Management Handbook, 2nd Edition as well has having articles published in both print and online, including a monthly contribution for Charityvillage website.  Lori is the past president of the Toronto Association of Volunteer Administration, a mentor for PAVRO, a content editor for the International Journal of Volunteer Management and member and Past Chair of the Advisory Committee at Humber College, Fundamentals of Volunteer Management and the Enriched courses. Lori is also a founding board member of Alli’s Journey and on the board of Community Outreach Program in Addictions. Lori continues to push the boundaries of traditional volunteer management through her writing and teaching.

Just A Little Makes A Difference

Yesterday a young girl passed away after a courageous battle with cancer which touched a nation with her strength and courage. She will leave a legacy of hope for others. This got me thinking about simple acts of kindness that we can all do.

I remember a time when I spent a length of time at a hospital with my child and in the room next door there was another young child whose parent had to work during the day and could only come in the evening, this child spent a lot of time alone, though there were volunteers who came and cheered her up from time to time. It took so little to make this child happy, just a few minutes of talk, or reading her a book that made all the difference in the world. When the parent came, she did not want to leave her child, so I would bring her coffee from time to time. These are just a few simple acts that make a difference.

One last story, when my father passed away, a stranger came to me to tell me that when he would go to volunteer, he would go to the cafeteria to get food and he would always pay for the person behind him, this was 20 years ago…..have I made a point….there is so much we can do that takes so little time and effort that have a huge impact and make all the difference in the world.

These are things that anyone can do, but talking about them makes it happen.

Talk about volunteering, engage your friends, family and colleagues….there is so much you can do.

If you need any ideas or help….I am just an email away.

Remember just a little makes a difference.


Employee Volunteer Engagements Drives Community Engagement

Even in the Wheels section of the Star, where you would be focusing on cars and the auto industry, front and centre was an article about volunteering. A car dealership has taken it upon itself to encourage their employees to volunteer. Lead by their employer, which is key…they have developed a sense of community and partnered up with nonprofit organizations to make a difference.

There are many ways to build a volunteer program for employees but key to a successful employee engagement program is support from the top. Whether you are giving time off to volunteer, volunteering as a group or just encouraging the act of community engagement….leading by example, sharing stories and building a plan is important for long term success.

Small or large, find something that you can support and get everyone involved…what a wonderful teambuilding experience


Employee Engagement is the Rage

Employee Engagement is the Rage

As I continue to blog about volunteer engagement, I will focus on the areas that I think are really important: employee engagement is first and foremost. Attached is an article about employee engagement that I thought I would share. It continues to focus on the importance of employee engagement and even though engagement has many components to it, volunteering is top of the list



There should be engagement in every companies business plan, whether you are a small office or a large national office….it is time to get engaged. If you are not sure how to start or want to grow, contact us at lorigotliebconsulting@gmail .com and we will help you get started.

Beyond the 40 Hours

The school year is well in hand and the holiday season is coming up, have you start to engage your kids in activities throughout the year?

One such activity that should be at the forefront of our youth should be community engagement but this is definitely not something that they are thinking about now.

As the new grade nines are excited about their next phase in life and the grade 12’s are recognizing that they are at the edge of their high school life, now is the time to start thinking about and searching for a place in their community that they can both make a difference and gain some experience.

The traditional youth volunteering lifecycle tends to be focused on fulfilling the 40 hour requirements set out by the school board, and though many schools both expect and encourage a longer commitment to volunteering, this is not the norm.

So the questions to be asked here is:

Who is responsible for getting our youth engaged early?

Is it the responsibility solely on the parents recognizing that their children need to give something back, or gain some experience or is it on the youth? Is it the schools responsibility to teach and expose their students to community engagement in a way that makes it meaningful to the students as well as emphasizing the importance of getting involved early on in their secondary school career, or finally is it the responsibility of the hundreds of not for profit organizations that need to reach out early in the school year to excite and educate youth as to how they can get involved?

The answer is all of the above.

Yes, it is the parents that need to instill that sense of community and have discussions with their children about what would spark their interests, which in turn will encourage the youth to start focusing on looking at where they see themselves volunteering. Interestingly, we are starting to ask these questions when it comes to career paths. As the youth of today are challenged with making choices early in life on school paths, volunteering can be an important tool to help them make these choices.

Volunteering can give youth an opportunity to see into a career path by exposing them to a variety of community program and activities that they would normally not get. Just like when we wanted our children to try music, dance and sports to see if they would like it, we should be exposing them to a variety of volunteer work, and the 40 hours is just the tip of the iceberg.

But we cannot forget the important responsibilities that both the schools and the organizations play in helping youth take this important step.

Schools have the resources and support to help youth make decisions, they are the core of the students learning centre, and they can expose youth to the importance of volunteering through the educational path. Schools would be a great tool to teach youth how to find volunteer opportunities, what to ask, what to look for and how to take the next step. This could be part of a curriculum in a variety of subject areas including career studies and civic engagement and even physical education to name a few but the schools cannot do this alone. They need to know what the nonprofit organizations are and they needs need to build these partnerships so that they can guide youth in the right direction.

The organizations need to recognize that thousands of youth are out there trying to get involved and they need to look at their volunteer programs and if they have not done so yet, develop a youth stream of volunteer opportunities that can support the specific needs of the youth and play an instrumental role in the youth engagement path.

So what does this mean?

As a team we are the circle of influence for the youth of today and tomorrow. Parents can encourage, expose and support their youth. Schools can teach, provide resources and celebrate volunteerism in their schools and organizations can open up their programs to embrace, support and expose youth to their mission and finally youth can feel confident that volunteering will be as satisfying and exciting joining the hockey team, learning a new instrument or just meeting new people.

Here are a few tips to get you started?


Look at websites that may be of interest to your kids?

Expose them to new and interesting activities through volunteering?

Talk about what others are doing to give back?


Write down three areas of general interest to you?

Write down three skills that you think you are good at?

Research three organizations that you want to learn about?

Make a call


Teach student how to find volunteer work by offering workshops through your career studies or student services

Have conversations with your students about broadening their experiences as they head out of high school


Develop youth friendly volunteer opportunities and customize your processes to engage youth

Add a youth friendly layer to your already existing volunteer program and encourage youth participation through your website

Remember there is no time like the present to expose our youth to the wonders of volunteering.


The Advantages of a Corporate Volunteer Program

Sure, there are many companies that have employee volunteer programs but there are more that don’t. There are so many advantages to employee volunteer programs and I thought I would list a few for you.

Provide great networking opportunities

Retain great employees and attract new ones

Share or learn skills outside the workplace

Build community awareness

Engage healthy and happy employees

Learning about nonprofits and how they connect in the community

Increase teamwork amongst your employees and improve performance

Highlight your companies social responsibility

Enhance productivity through engaged employees

Provide much needed assistance to community organizations

Build your brand and increase sales from awareness in the community

So how do you start:

Create a committee or engage a staff lead to spearhead the program

Communicate from the senior team of the importance of employee engagement

Include volunteer engagement as part of their benefits program

Survey your staff on what is important to them…it is important to get their input from the beginning

Start small and celebrate successes

Connect with a nonprofit that has meaning to your employees ( maybe it is an organization that your employees are already involved in)

Reach out to your local volunteer centre to find out what is happening in your community

Do your research….the idea is to connect with a nonprofit so that you can build a long lasting relationship with

Recognize the efforts of your employees and build this into a year long program

Dedicate an employee who can raise awareness and coordinate activities

Once you commit to volunteer engagement, make it part of your culture and plan for it…be proactive

Finally, make a difference in your community


The Enthusiasm of Youth Volunteers

Young volunteers bring an enthusiasm to organization that is contagious. They are excited to help, want to learn and bring a wealth of talent that nonprofit can capture and benefit from. Here are a few benefits of youth volunteers
•There are areas that youth could support well and they are willing to try anything
•Funders, constituents, members like that nonprofits are considering the youth volunteer
•Multi generations: the ability for many different generations to work together for one cause is exciting
•They are coming to us and we need to be ready
•High tech, emerging thinkers
•Youth lense: they understand the marketplace in the present and they know how to connect
If you do not have a volunteer stream for youth engagement, you should consider how youth can enhance your volunteer program and begin to reach out to them