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5 Ways Board Members Can Support Fundraising
CURRENTS Article "I'm happy to do anything, except ask for money." Work in educational advancement long enough, and you'll probably hear those words from a foundation or governing board member. For some volunteers, asking for financial gifts produces anxiety—and most people are already dealing with pressure in their life. The last thing they need is more stress from a volunteer job. Discomfort with asking can be a major stumbling block for fundraising success. But the ask is only one step in a larger creative process that's intentionally managed to attract donor investment. Reluctant board members can still help our cause, even if they're not making an ask. Here's how to play to their strengths.

When Your Alumni Council Is Wilting
CURRENTS Article In 2011, the Alumni/ae Council at St. Paul Academy and Summit School in Minnesota was nearly nonexistent. Other than holding monthly meetings and a lackluster fundraising phonathon, the council sponsored no programs or events; it did not follow its bylaws and had no reporting structure or processes for recruiting new members. Most of the 11 council members were suffering from volunteer fatigue, particularly the president. Few members attended meetings, which were unproductive. The council frequently discussed the need to recruit new members but never developed an action plan. In short, it was time for a change.

Training Camp
CURRENTS Article Using alumni volunteers as university ambassadors is a no-brainer, say advancement professionals. Most universities and colleges offer some kind of orientation or training for their alumni volunteers, but in recent years the trend has been to provide more robust, dedicated training. Many institutions hold training days, often tied to another on-campus alumni event, such as homecoming or an alumni weekend.

Validating Volunteers
CURRENTS Article Remote alumni chapters can easily fizzle if volunteer leaders lack support or direction. At the Penn State Alumni Association, a recent $1 million endowed gift ensures that won't happen.

The Other Senior Class
CURRENTS Article Lifelong learners are advancement professionals' dream supporters: They're loyal to the institution, they have plenty of free time, and they're passionate about education and giving back to society. They could be untapped sources for volunteering, leading, or fundraising.

Recruit. Retain. Repeat.
CURRENTS Article Gone are the days of volunteers responding in large numbers to an institution’s blanket request for help. Free time is in short supply today, and your alumni and other stakeholders who are considering a volunteer opportunity want assurances that their time will not be wasted. How do institutions recruit and manage volunteers in this environment? One piece of advice: Find the right person for the job, and be clear about expectations.

It Pays to Volunteer
CURRENTS Article Grants from corporations matching employee giving are prevalent, but volunteer grants are underused.

Odds and Ends: At the Head of the Table
CURRENTS Article In this Q-and-A with Patty Stonesifer, the new CEO of Martha's Table in Washington, D.C., talks about how volunteerism was part of her upbringing and how she's bringing the business practices she honed at Microsoft and the Gates Foundation to fight poverty and hunger in the nation's capital.

On Board with Giving
CURRENTS Article Top volunteers want to be engaged in productive activities. But how do you accomplish this, especially with high-level volunteers such as campaign steering committee members? Start with a good infrastructure, writes Penelepe Hunt, a former development vice chancellor who is now a consultant. Decide how often the group will meet, set attendance expectations, and write good job descriptions. Hunt provides additional suggestions for crafting effective volunteer engagement.

What Volunteers Want
CURRENTS Article CURRENTS Editor-in-Chief Ken Budd has volunteered for a wide variety of organizations around the world. Here is his do's-and-don'ts list for volunteer engagement.

Time = Treasure
CURRENTS Article Advancement leaders should promote and recognize nonmonetary contributions and alumni engagement the same way they do financial gifts. Many institutions understand the need to find, train, evaluate, and retire volunteers, but few spend time creating the case for participation, setting and communicating alumni volunteer goals, making a targeted ask, and acknowledging services rendered.

To Go Big, Go Small
CURRENTS Article An alumni volunteer at Cornell University in 2008 created a successful affinity group recruitment plan to boost attendance at the institution's class reunions. The six-step model provides an easy-to-follow structure that can be used by virtually any class or alumni group at any institution, large or small.

The Mindful Development Officer
CURRENTS Article Veteran advancement officer Deb Taft offer tips for reaching out to diverse alumni and volunteers and ensuring they're involved in meaningful ways.

Office Space: Personal Invitations
CURRENTS Article The LGBT community is growing in visibility and formal acceptance. How can institutions better welcome and integrate this community into their educational advancement efforts?

Office Space: We Know Better
CURRENTS Article Keep board members informed, give them meaningful work, and show them appreciation in order to leave board members with a favorable view of and quite possibly increase their engagement (in terms of volunteerism and financial gifts) with your institution.

Volunteering Rates
CURRENTS Article Sweet Briar College's alumni office has created a volunteer management system analogous to the college's prospect management system.

Multiple Targets
CURRENTS Article The University of Exeter is counting alumni volunteer hours as part of the institution's current £23 million campaign, showing the progression toward its goal alongside those for financial donations and legacies pledged.

Toast of the Town
CURRENTS Article The Catholic University of America nearly doubled its annual fund between the years of 2004 and 2008 by strategically revamping its appeals and by fully engaging a team of alumni volunteers who became "the face of philanthropy" for the Washington, D.C., institution. A sidebar tells how Harley School, a private independent day school in Rochester, N.Y., gave its annual giving program a makeover in less than five years.

When Volunteers Attack!
CURRENTS Article Working with alumni volunteers shouldn't create horror and suspense. Following a few key steps can help maintain a smooth relationship between alumni volunteers and the alumni relations office staff.

Closing Remarks: Why I Volunteer
CURRENTS Article Mary Kay McPhee, the inaugural recipient of CASE's Distinguished Friend of Education Award, describes the value she's gleaned from being an active volunteer at multiple institutions.

Leaders in Training
CURRENTS Article Guiding young leaders may involve more work for alumni staff, but the payoff is long-term support and engagement with the institution and its alumni program.

Advance Work: Service with a Smile
CURRENTS Article A recent report by the Corporation for National and Community Service finds that in the wake of Sept. 11, college students are volunteering in greater numbers.

Career Path: Extracurricular Experience
CURRENTS Article A professional fundraiser learns a lot about her job and how to do it better by volunteering in her community.

Sticky Business
CURRENTS Article Working with volunteers can be a nightmare when they step out of line, either intentionally or accidentally. But careful prep work before allowing a volunteer to take on a public role can minimize the risk. The article explores common problems and how to react or prevent them in the first place.

Culture Club
CURRENTS Article Development, alumni relations, and communications officers struggle with a common problem: how to provide volunteers with enough information to work effectively without overwhelming them. As they strive to strike that balance, advancement professionals have created and refined strategies to train top volunteers in vision, mission, and campus culture.

Fleet of Feet
CURRENTS Article For many independent schools, colleges, and universities with limited resources, volunteers are not a luxury. Rather, they are the lifeblood of advancement operations, allowing fund raisers, alumni relations officers, and communications and marketing professionals to achieve goals that otherwise might be impossible. This article, part of the issue focus on volunteer management, discusses the tangible and intangible benefits volunteers bring to the table, the tasks they perform, and the motivators that drive people to volunteer their time and talent to causes bigger than themselves. It includes profiles of five volunteers, what they do, and why they do it.

AdvanceWork: Simply the Best?
CURRENTS Article A recent Urban Institute study of more than 1,300 nonprofits suggests that their leaders need to do a better job of managing their volunteers. "Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers" identifies nine volunteer-management best practices, but notes that only one--"regular supervision and communication with volunteers"--is widely adopted by the nonprofits surveyed.

AdvanceWork: Volunteering Snapshot
CURRENTS Article New statistics confirm longstanding service trends

AdvanceWork: More Than 5.3 Million Serve
CURRENTS Article New initiative promotes and encourages campus volunteerism

AdvanceWork: Believe the Hype
CURRENTS Article Kansas State doesn't need to pay telefund callers when it's got loyal students

AdvanceWork: Calling All Student Volunteers
CURRENTS Article Campus groups earn cash for their cause through phonathon work

Small Office: Capitalizing on Volunteers
CURRENTS Article As the first and only advancement professional at three-year-old Nunez Community College, Tucker helped organize a fund-raising campaign that far exceeded its goal of $1.1 million. The idea originated when the chair of the foundation board accompanied Tucker to a conference on fund-raising methods for community colleges. This dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer led the push to establish an endowment and conduct a capital campaign. Tucker recommends these steps for other small institutions: 1) educate the board; 2) solicit the board's full support; 3) hire consultants when needed; 4) recruit volunteers who can open doors; 5) accompany volunteers on solicitation visits; 6) role-play with volunteers before solicitations; 7) reward volunteers for their efforts; and 8) have fun.

In Advance: The Accidental Fund Raiser
CURRENTS Article Drake University volunteer Maddie Levitt is the recipient of the CASE 1998 Ernest T. Stewart Award for Alumni Volunteer Involvement. Levitt has chaired two successful capital campaigns for Drake, and is a frequent speaker on women and philanthropy. She credits her success as a fund raiser to a willingness to support institutions such as Drake and a strong belief in the value of cultivating and involving alumni when they are young.

The Element of Surprise
CURRENTS Article Sometimes alumni professionals need to orchestrate a bit of unexpected fun or fanfare to excite or energize alumni volunteers. Tactics can range from using the campus marching band to kickoff a board retreat to using a chaotic gift-exchange among volunteers, to surprising parent phonathon volunteers with a hail of nerfballs tossed by children. Kilcup stresses the importance of thanking volunteers continuously and offers numerous suggested ways to do so. You might host a surprise birthday party, give unique t-shirts, send flowers on Valentine’s Day, or offer invitations to alumni events the volunteers did not themselves have to plan.

In Advance: Safe Under the Law
CURRENTS Article A new law protects your alumni volunteers from legal liability

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