How to recruit volunteers for your organization

There is an ever increasing need for volunteers to assist within organizations. However at the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find volunteers due to pressures of time and income.This means that volunteers need to be managed as effectively as paid staff. Although volunteers are a relatively inexpensive resource,they do create some costs for the organization.

Volunteers at work

Reasons why people volunteer -some of the reasons people volunteer include:

  • Service to others-to put something back to society.
  • To gain work experience
  • Family involvement
  • Social reasons
  • Prestige and
  • To influence policy

You need to recognize these motives, consider them in light of the program requirements and place the volunteer in a situation that is beneficial to both the individual and the program.It is important that volunteers are asked why they participate in order to help determine how well their needs are being met.

consider your volunteer requirements on a regular basis taking into consideration what needs to be done in your organization.To do these it might be helpful to classify volunteers into three categories:

  • Administrative leadership- Volunteers recruited for this role should have skills to serve as executive board members, secretaries,treasurer’s or as committee members.
  • Technical leadership-volunteers must possess real knowledge and skills in the technical field that they are volunteering in.
  • Non-leadership services-There is always a need for volunteers in a non-leadership capacity.Volunteers who could fill these roles are those who do not have technical qualifications or the time for prolonged commitment.

Try to much your volunteers with the specific requirements of the work to be done.Some criteria to consider are:

  • Short term vs. long term-How long do you need your volunteers to commit for?
  • Intense vs.relaxed-Does the job allow the individual to work at a leisurely pace or does it involve tough decisions,tight deadlines or constant attention?
  • Responsible vs.non-responsible -Does the job require an individual who will be highly accountable or responsible for programs or does it involve little accountability?

No matter how you plan to use volunteers,they should all understand and promote the objectives of the program.This will involve specific effort on your part to communicate the program’s objectives before a volunteer commits to it.

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How to plan for training in an organization

Training could be formal, such as an organized course carried out by an expert,or informal, which relies on practical experience such as on the job experience.We always think that formal training is more valuable as it is delivered by an expert.However this type of training tends to deliver information,but not practical skills.In order to get the most out of a training, you should try and make it as practical as possible.For example,an organization could hold briefing sessions on various topics led by different people working in the organization.

A set training venue

Preparation of a training plan should cover the following:

  • The objectives of the training-what is to be achieved.
  • The population to be trained-who is to be involved, such as the Executive Board.
  • The choice of training methods-How the training will be delivered, such as attending courses.
  • How the success of the training will be measured.
  • The evaluation of the training.

Evaluating the training plan

The training plan needs to be evaluated against the established objectives.Without this evaluation the effectiveness of the training cannot be assessed.There are three levels at which evaluation can be carried out:

  • Acquired skills and knowledge-Have the required skills been learnt?
  • Applied practice-Have the skills been put into practice?
  • Impact on the organization-Have the acquired skills made the organization to function more effectively?

The success of the training should be demonstrated by improvements in both individual and organizational performance.

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How to assess staff and volunteer training needs.

Training needs must be assessed in order to ensure that you are helping staff and volunteers to do their jobs well.You should do this when people first start work or volunteer for your organization, when their job or technology changes or when there is a change in priorities in your organization.

Problems that arise in the organization may be the result of skill shortages.For example, your team may fail to qualify for the finals of the competition because the head coach has not prepared it properly.Therefore when trying solve performance problems, you should ask your self the following questions:

  • Has a shortage of skills contributed to this problem?
  • What are the reasons for the skills shortage?
  • Can the shortage be addressed with training?
Company staff and volunteers sharing

Training needs analysis-Training needs analysis entails the following steps:

  • Break up the activities as part of the job into a series of tasks.
  • Describe the knowledge and skills required to perform each task.
  • Assess the person against the knowledge and skills.
  • Discuss with the job holder their perceived requirements.
  • Consider personal development needs.

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How to successfully create your organization/company brand.

Branding basically entails the promoting of a corporate brand to the customers.The whole organization (company) corporate brand and positive image must be promoted to the customer as opposed to just promoting the company products and services.

Organization(company) brand

To create effective brands the areas of identity, unique symbols, strategies, values &norms and marketing must all be well aligned and should positively resonate with the customer needs and demands.The following can guide in creating an effective organization (company) brand:

  • Do you have a suitable name for your organization (company)?
  • Does your company have a unique logo that can be used to identify it in the market place?
  • Are there some unique colours or uniform wear(like for a school) that you want to be identified with?Have you picked the perfect ones that resonates with your values and norms?
  • What is the address of your organization (company)?what is the physical location of the headquarters of your organization (company)? Does your organization have a mail address code like postal code?Does your organization have an official telephone contact? Does the company have an official email address bearing the name as well as logo of the company?Does the organization have a website?
  • Are all these means of accessing the company always available and accessible or Are they in a dysfunctional state?Are these means regularly updated with relevant information (like a website).Is there someone who engages customers through this channels (like for telephones, websites and social media platforms)?
  • What is your company vision?
  • What are your company goals?
  • Are the company vision as well as goals well defined and communicated?
  • What is the mission of your organization (company)?
  • Does the mission reflect the vision as well as goals of the organization?
  • What are the strategic objectives of your organization (company)?
  • Are the strategic objectives well stated?
  • Are the strategic objectives S.M.A.R.T (check out for Creating strategic objectives)?
  • Do the strategic objectives align with the mission ,goals and vision of the organization?
  • What is the strategy of your company?
  • Is the strategy aligned with the vision and regularly adapted to the environment?
  • Is the company strategy elaborate enough at the highest level of the company?
  • What problem does your organization (company) solve?
  • What solutions to the particular problem is your company set to offer or provide?
  • Are the solutions that you offer clearly defined and well communicated to the customers?
  • Does your organization have core values and norms?
  • Are the company core values and norms well defined and communicated?
  • Do the core values align with your organization vision and goals?
  • Do you have any marketing strategy for your organization?
  • Do you know your potential customers?
  • Do you know the history pertaining marketing of your company products or services?
  • What is your sales strategy?
  • Do you understand the competitors of your organization?( both their strengths and weaknesses)?
  • Do you know your organization strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your strategy of solving your weaknesses?
  • How do you intend to promote your company services and products?
  • What is the projected total market sales volume?
  • What percentage share of the total market sales volume do you intend to achieve?
  • What is your price strategy?
  • How does your pricing strategy compare with other similar companies?
  • What are your company’s selling points or modes of selling?(physical store,agent store, online selling points,specify any other selling points or modes of selling)
  • What forms of sales force does your company employ(full time sales force,part time sales force, affiliate marketing,Agent marketing, subsidiaries, specify any other form of selling and marketing)?

Do you need help setting up an effective company brand ?If the answer is yes then I recommend that seek the services of a company organizations that deal in branding , you can find them both online and offline.A good place to begin is to peruse through the services that companies offer another viable way is by checking out any advert about companies that offer branding services to their clients.

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How to develop policies and procedures to prevent violence and harassment in sports

Effective prevention of violence and harassment is enormously helped by having in place policies with associated codes of practice, education and training of all involved with sport,complaint and support mechanisms for those who feel abused, and monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure best practices are being employed.Regardless of cultural differences, every sport organization should have these provisions in place.The policy is a statement of intent that demonstrates a commitment to create a safe and mutually respectful environment.The policy should state what is required in relation to the promotion of rights, well-being and protection.It allows the organization to take prompt,impartial and fair action when a complaint or allegation is made.It also allows the organization to take disciplinary,penal and other measures as appropriate.

A stadium just after fan violence

The policy should:

  • The policy should identify and address issues of violence, harassment and abuse in sports.
  • Be clear and easily understood.
  • Involve consultation with the athletes.
  • Be approved by the relevant management body(e.g Executive Board) and incorporated into it’s constitution and/or regulations.
  • Be widely communicated through publication and a comprehensive education and training strategy.
  • Apply to all involved in the organization.
  • State that all members have a right to respect,safety and protection.
  • State that the welfare of members is paramount.
  • Identify who has responsibility for implementing and upholding it.
  • Specify what constitutes a violation.
  • Specify the range of consequences for such violations.
  • Specify procedures for reporting and handling complaints.
  • Provide details of where to seek advice and support for all parties involved in a complaint.
  • Specify procedures for maintaining records.
  • Provide guidance for third party reporting (whistle blowing) and
  • Be reviewed and updated on a regular basis, particularly when there is a major change in the constitutional regulations of the organization or in the law.

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How to manage time

Managing time is one of the challenges of being a successful organization manager.If time is not managed properly you run the risk of being unable to work as well as you would like.

Every activity must be allocated time

Time wasting activities -In order to have the time to do the work required, you will require a time management strategy.First, however it is important to know what might lead you to waste time.This activities include:

  • Not spending enough time prioritising tasks or being clear about what has to be achieved.
  • Putting off tasks that have to be achieved because they are too difficult or boring.
  • Working on tasks that are simple rather than important.
  • Responding to the person who shouts the loudest rather than doing the most important tasks.
  • Trying to do everything, rather than getting someone to assist.
  • Giving out incorrect or poorly expressed information so that time is wasted by having to provide more information and correcting errors.
  • Unnecessarily lengthy phone calls, meetings or conversations.

Time management strategies -Once time wasting activities have been identified,a time management strategy should be formed based on five principles:

  • You need to record all commitments,including meetings,tasks to be completed and deadlines and carryout regular work planning.
  • You need to be clear about what it is you have to achieve.This will allow you to prioritize your work.
  • You need to structure your time.Divide your time into blocks and allocate these blocks to certain activities.Tasks requiring concentration and research should be allocated to the time when you feel most alert.
  • You need to identify time periods when you can and cannot be disturbed by those who work with you.
  • You need to learn to say “no”, Rather than making you appear lazy,the ability to turn down requests for work when overloaded will make you appear efficient and the work that you do will be better.

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How to make decisions in a successful organization.

A group discussing before making a decision

Organization management as well as life in general is all about making decisions.To make rational decisions,we go through a process very similar to that suggested above for problem solving.We need to:

  • Be clear about the choices available and the criteria against which the choice should be made.
  • Obtain sufficient information in order to assess the choices.
  • Make a decision.

Mistakes people make while making decisions. Decision making rarely follows the process set out above as people tend to make decisions based on:

  • Claims and hearsay.
  • Past experience
  • Knowledge of other organizations
  • Recent training taken
  • Judgement and judgemental attitude
  • Creativity
  • Personal abilities

We make decisions under time constraints and often without comprehensive information.Therefore decision making is rarely rational.In fact we generally aim to make the best possible or most satisfactory decision under the circumstances.We try out solutions that have worked in the past or that have been successful for other organizations, colleagues, people or departments.Although this type of decision making is arguably less effective than the decision making set out above,it can at it’s very best only allow the decision maker to make the best of limited time and to decide on as many issues as possible.However,in order to make your decision making as effective as possible,be sure you know the following:

  • What exactly are you trying to decide?e.g
  • Which stage of problem solving are you in?
  • Whose decision is it exactly to make?(yours,a friend, colleague,a leader, organization, government, arbitrator or any other)
  • How will not taking this decision affect you particularly?
  • Do you have any interest in the issue you want to decide on?
  • Do you trust yourself to make a correct decision on such a matter?(what is your past record of making correct decisions?).In the opinion of the public can you be trusted to make a balanced and binding decision on the issue at hand? (where public is involved).
  • Does the issue you are trying to decide on involve another party/individual?
  • What rights or laws if any do you have or permits you to make a decision on such an issue?
  • Who needs to be involved in the decision making?(what authority and/or permissions is required?)
  • Is there need for an arbitrator?
  • How should they be involved?(directly,consulted, informed?)
  • When must you decide?

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What are the principles of good governance in an organization?

Board leadership -Every organization should be led and governed by an effective Board which collectively ensures the delivery of it’s objectives,sets it’s strategic direction and upholds it’s values.Every member of the board should understand his or her individual responsibility of being a board member, including the legal responsibilities.

The board in control -Your Board should be collectively responsible and accountable for ensuring that the organization is performing well, is solvent and complies with the obligations.It must conduct it’s affairs so that it complies with it’s legal obligations as well as other requirements of it’s environment.

Board review and renewal -The board should periodically review it’s own and the organization’s effectiveness.Reviewing the performance of the organization as a whole through performance indicators and external review is critical in effective organizations.Renewing the composition of the board is often a delicate and difficult issue,but a critical one.

Board delegation -The Board should set out the role and function of sub-commitees, the officers of the organization (chair, secretary general,vice president, Treasurer), the CEO and other staff and agents and should monitor their performance.This should entail:

  • Setting out clear and discrete roles;
  • Effective delegation and empowerment of responsibilities;
  • Setting out clear, unambiguous terms of reference wherever appropriate; and
  • Monitoring performance of the organization as a whole, the board, staff members and its sub-commitees.

Board and board member integrity -The board and its members should act according to high ethical standards and ensure that conflicts of interest are properly dealt with.There should be no personal benefit from business transacted by the Board.

Board openness -Your Board should be open, responsive and accountable to stakeholders, beneficiaries,partners and others with an interest in it’s work.

Adherence to statutes -The adage “You cannot get lost on a straight road” applies to the statutes of an organization.If they are out of date,they should be reviewed.However,once agreed,they should be strictly observed.

Good management practice -The development of strategic plans, operational plans, performance indicators, risk and financial management, marketing practices, human resource management and many other modern management practices all ensure that effective and efficient organizations are appropriately led by the board.

Good governance culture -While it is possible to tick the boxes on a “good governance”checklist,it is even more important that a culture of good governance pervades the organization and that you and your Board buy into this principle.

Good partnership model -A well run organization depends on a wholesome partnership between the board,led by the chair/president, and the team that runs the organization.Of key importance is the relationship between the chair and the person responsible for managing the organization i.e the general Secretary or CEO.

Organization board in a meeting

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How to evaluate new projects

Workers working on a project

The following are the criteria by which new projects,programmes and activities can be evaluated in order to assess their relative merit and if applicable to assist with the allocation of limited resources.

  • Is it consistent with the mission,goals and objectives of the organization?
  • Is it consistent with the organization’s by-laws and constitution?
  • Is it consistent with the policy statement?
  • Are sufficient human and material resources currently, likely to be or potentially available?
  • Is any other organization addressing or carrying out(or likely to address) the same activity or project?
  • Does it require the involvement or support of outside agencies (i.e fosters partnerships/collaboration)?
  • Is it oriented to national or regional interests?
  • Does it contribute to the organization’s needs?(future funding, current programmes, opportunities)
  • Does fall within the scope of an existing activity?
  • Does research or previous evaluation show this project/activity to have potential for significant impact?
  • Will the activity or project results be measurable?
  • What,if any are the consequences (positive/negative) of carrying out the project or activity?
  • What cost-effectiveness rating is likely to be achieveable?

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How to develop high quality athletes.

A group of athletes running a race

The essential requirements for developing high quality athletes include:

  • Coaching- without question, the quality of coaching and the athlete -coach relationship are the essential features of athlete development.No other single factor is as important.
  • Athletes – having special talent,strong motivation and a willingness to work extremely hard are all characteristics of a successful l athlete.
  • Facilities and equipment-A lack of access to appropriate facilities and equipment may be a limiting factor to sport development.
  • Athlete support- If an athlete wishes to achieve reasonably high goals,an adequate support system must be created to provide that opportunity.
  • Financial support-Raising money for training and competition purposes is an ongoing task.Governments usually have to provide the bulk of finances required by athletes.
  • Administrative support-In order to develop a well organised training and competition programme,good planning and a fair degree of administrative support are required.
  • Competition-Competition at the right level and frequency is essential for the development of athletes.Competition provides a focal point for training goals and an important motivation for daily training.

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