Tag Archives: leadership

Why Girls Want to Join the Boy Scouts

I am really torn about the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow girls into their programs.

I love the idea of Girl Scouts of the USA, and I have some very precious memories of my time as a Brownie and Junior Girl Scout, especially regarding a week-long summer day camp that made me hunger for outdoor activities, something I still enjoy to this day. The emphasis at so many international humanitarian agencies on girls’ empowerment shows why the agenda of the Girl Scouts is still so needed and so relevant all over the world. In addition, the Girl Scouts have long been inclusive, far more than the Boy Scouts: they haven’t required girls to say the God part of their pledge since the 1990s, they have allowed transgendered youth since pretty much the moment they realized there were such, and they have no prohibition against gay leaders or members, unlike the Boy Scouts until very recently.

The Boy Scouts are saying they are now allowing girls into their ranks so that they can pursue Eagle Scout status. But the Girl Scouts of the USA has the equivalent of Eagle Scout status. It’s called the Gold Award. Remember the teen girl who brought to light that New Hampshire still allowed child marriage and she was pushing for that to change? That was her Girl Scout Gold Award project. I would like to see that award get the same coverage and respect as Eagle Scout status. But the reality is that not only does the press rarely mention it, Girl Scout leaders rarely mention it to Girl Scouts. I’ve talked to many Girl Scout leaders about the Gold Award, and many have either never heard of it, don’t really know much about it, or aren’t convinced it’s all that important and something their girls really want to work towards.

When I returned to the USA after living abroad for eight years, I was determined to volunteer for the Girl Scouts. I didn’t want to be a leader, but I wanted to help somehow. Maybe I could be a chaperone on a camping trip! Maybe I could lead some hikes! Maybe I could help recruit more girls to join, and more volunteers to participate! Maybe I could help connect girls to activities about computers, science and the arts. I was so excited to help.

I signed up on the Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington web site in the Fall of 2009, within days of moving into my first home in Oregon. I was contacted promptly about the next and nearest service leader meeting, so I had immediate high hopes. I faithfully attended most of those meetings and any local events – and one in Salem – for more than a year. I immediately volunteered at that first meeting I attended to help with communications. Within two months, I felt the resentment from several of the leaders who didn’t like me, an “outsider”, and didn’t like being asked for information about events they were having: they wanted to just do word-of-mouth among other leaders they liked, and leave out those leaders they didn’t. Some wanted to fly below the “official” radar, which has strict requirements regarding reporting, especially about finances. The new service unit leader put together an amazing recruitment event, and we had one of the largest turnouts of new girls our area had had in years. Several troop leaders resented the success of the event and that we tried to follow the appropriate protocols in assigning new girls to troops. There was a holiday event held by one troop that I didn’t hear about until the night before – and I was told that it was “always done this way and everyone already knows about it.” I kept asking about camping, hiking and STEM-related activities, I offered to help girls get their computer-related badges…. but I slowly learned that a lot of Girl Scout troop leaders aren’t interested in those things – they just wanted to host pizza parties and mani-pedi parties for their daughters and their friends. (and please note: I love mani-pedis – they just aren’t why I joined Girl Scouts).

I also asked lots of questions of the state office about how and why certain decisions were made, why certain things weren’t communicated beyond a page on the web site or a printed brochure we may never see, why social media was so under-utilized, why we never got to do joint activities with the parallel Spanish-speaking troops formed in our area, etc. I rarely got replies to my emails. The communications manager for the state office finally called me at home as I was starting the second year of volunteering and said, per my questions, that she “couldn’t” work with me anymore. So I resigned my volunteer post.

In my year and a half in Girl Scouts, here’s what I also saw: the change the Girl Scouts leadership is pushing for, for more STEM-related activities, for more outdoor-related activities, and for more leadership-building activities, aren’t at all being embraced on the grassroots level. On my way back from a training from the state office in Portland, the leader I was riding with said she didn’t like what the national office was pushing for because it was “too socialist.” I was flabbergasted.

I shared some of these frustrations about trying to volunteer with Girl Scouts on my Facebook account this week, as well as being torn about the Boy Scouts decision. I wasn’t expecting the replies I got.

Here’s a comment from an Oregon friend:

I couldn’t agree more about GS leadership, at least around here. I even tried to be a leader so my girls could be in Girl Scouts, and I did not get good vibes or feel welcomed at all. I left. I refuse to be a part of such an organization.

Another Oregon friend:

I loved being a Girl Scout. I hate the Portland office for Girl Scouts. A few years ago, my daughter wasn’t allowed to join the local troop at her school because they said it was full. Then I was told she could join another but after two months of playing phone games and weirdness, I gave up. Then my daughter told me another girl joined the “full” troop. Pissed me off.

And yet another Oregon friend:

This is exactly what I experienced with trying to get my daughters in. I tried to become a leader, but they didn’t seem to even want that. I don’t want my daughters in an organization that sends that type of message.

A comment from a friend in Iowa:

I am a part of an outdoor Girl Scout community, learning because I am a novice, and while I would love to build this side of our troop, my co-leader has slowly allowed all other activities to be more important for her daughter, and it’s tough to schedule anything. Our SU fall camp out, which is not roughing it at all, is coming up, and she was considering going late so her daughter could go to her volleyball game first. Seriously. My daughter is missing theater class for camp. One girl left the troop because she doesn’t like to get dirty. Only my daughter enjoyed drawing with charcoal recently, while the others were worried about getting dirty (but at least they tried!). I don’t know how you get girls to go out and rough it, or their parents to help make it a priority… I really like the girl led, girl empowerment focus of GS. We need that, we need a space for girls to build confidence in a safe space, outside the comparison to boys, or the sense that their being a girl is somehow an issue. That said, I feel like the GS structure leaves so much in the hands of the troop leader, and it’s not easy to combine your stuff with other troops. You really have to work at it. It sounds like the pack and troop aspect of Boy Scouts has the advantage in that respect, with combined resources. I’m in a great service unit, big and active, but even that is challenging to get people connected and to share resources. If it’s going to change, it has to from the inside. They are making effort to do it, and I appreciate that, but overall, I still do a lot of legwork myself, because the stuff council provides can be rather dry. And there are so many other things people are involved in, that I think it’s just not a priority for them to offer up their help and ideas, much less have their girls be more active. I don’t know if that’s the same with Boy Scouts or not. I do know that a lot of boys will try to get all their outdoor stuff done by like 7th or 8th grade,  because they also get very busy in upper grades.

A comment from a friend in Kentucky:

I tried to put my daughter in the first year she was eligible. They had scheduled their very first troop meeting for Thanksgiving break at school, which seemed really odd to me because so many people travel at the holidays. And we too were out of town. So I emailed and called several times about a follow-up meeting or an alternate meeting and never got a response from whomever that was that heads that up here. I gave up.

Not all of my Facebook friends had complaints. One of my Facebook friends in Texas, a guy, wrote:

I was a GSUSA adult leader of Girl Scouts for many years doing single interest groups in backpacking. Many were the nights when my girls ranging from 6th grade to junior college hit the trail with 50 pound packs, walked farther than nearby boys groups, made camp and ate and laughed and told stories without “benefit” of the outhouse sized trailers towed along by the boys, and fell to sleep with the sound of the wind across our pup tents, the hoot of owls and the thrumming of the boy scouts generator.

THAT is the experience I was looking for but never found here in Oregon.

How many other people are out there that tried to volunteer with the Girl Scouts but never got a callback, or were turned away because an insular group didn’t want their participation? How many girls are there that tried to join a troop and never got called back, or joined and found the troop didn’t provide any activities that matched their interests? How many girls left because they had no idea what the Gold Award is and how awesome it is to pursue it and attain it? How many other Girl Scout state office employees are dropping the ball on customer service and outreach?

Girl Scouts of Oregon and SW Washington, Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana, Girl Scouts of Greater IowaGirl Scouts of the USA – are you listening?

I bet girls that want to join the Boy Scouts will immediately get contacted about their interest. They will immediately connect with activities they want to do: archery, camping, hiking, canoeing, fishing, computers, and more. They will be reminded at every gathering that they are a part of something special, and their support of each other is as important as their individual interests. And the phone calls from their parents will be returned promptly by Boy Scout leadership.

I debated a lot writing this blog. I support the Girl Scouts of the USA – in principle. I am not at all a Girl Scout hater. I want the Girl Scouts to succeed as an organization. I tried to be a part of helping to make that happen. But, obviously, Girl Scouts has a problem. It has many problems. I hope it will address those problems.

Also see:

Things I learned in Kentucky last month

This week, I’m blogging and launching new web resources based on my experience in October as the Duvall Leader in Residence at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Leadership Development (CFLD), part of UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Monday, I blogged about one of my workshops regarding Democratizing Engagement. Specifically: has the Internet democratized community, even political, engagement. Yesterday, I launched a new web page about online leadership.

Today’s topic: things I learned while in this program, as well as before, during and after presenting in my hometown in Henderson, Kentucky for the Kentucky Network for Development, Leadership and Engagement (Kyndle), serving Henderson, McLean, Union and Webster counties in northwestern Kentucky:

  • People under 30 love Instagram. When I asked University of Kentucky students, and a small group of high school students, what they were using, they said Twitter and Instagram more than anything else. Snapchat also was always mentioned, though not as widely used. Periscope got mentioned a few times as well. Facebook is long gone as a regularly-used tool by the students I addressed.
  • Different communities, neighborhoods and cultures use vastly different online communications tools: I thought Topix, an online forum founded in 2002, was long gone, like Cupertino’s first official online community for its citizens, built on FirstClass. But, no – Topix still very popular in some communities, probably because of the ease of anonymity in participating in its online discussions/debates.
  • I’m not the only one that thinks nonprofits are using social media too much as an old-fashioned advertising tool and not nearly enough as an engagement tool – this article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy came out on the Friday I left Lexington. It is amazing to me that I’m still talking about this – something that I first read about back in the 1990s via the Cluetrain Manifesto.
  • Twitter remains so much better than Facebook when it comes to promotion and networking and engagement. I tweeted a lot, and was almost always retweeted or “liked”, and got lots of replies. By contrast, Facebook resulted in few “likes” – and maybe two comments.
  • Email is still a killer app. An email about one of my evening workshops, sent to various student organizations by a student energized by one of my earlier workshops, resulted in probably twice as many people as expected attending that evening event. In addition, my appointment for this residency was because of an email I sent to faculty at the CFLD last year about The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook and my ties to Kentucky.
  • People under 30 are volunteering, they are passionate about various causes (particularly the environment), and they want to volunteer even more! And they do not see their community service and political activism as merely getting tasks done: they see it as building community, as career exploration, as career preparation, and as fun. And they will stuff envelopes if you tell them why that really, really matters… and give them pizza.
  • A lot of people over 30 have given up on using social media, because they have no idea how to control the onslaught of content that came their way – they felt flooded with useless information, rants and hurtful comments, so they stopped signing on. Facebook in particular makes it oh-so-difficult to figure out how to put different friends on different lists, to hide people without unfriending them, to prevent certain friends from seeing a status update, to unlike pages, etc.
  • GooglePlus just doesn’t get talked about… except by me, who still finds it valuable…
  • If I didn’t attempt to use humor in my workshops, I might offend fewer people, but wow, I, and my audiences, would die of boredom.
  • Lexington, Kentucky is a jewel of a city, and my hometown of Henderson is infinitely more fun than it was when I was growing up there.

That’s what I learned. I wish I had thought to survey the students while I was there – I could have found out even more. They were a gold mine of information. I also talked to faculty and nonprofit staff from different organizations, and they were all lovely and interesting and fun – but I cannot lie: the students were my favorite audience.

Online leadership: what is it?

This week, I’m blogging and launching new web resources based on my experience in October as the Duvall Leader in Residence at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Leadership Development (CFLD), part of UK’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.

Yesterday, I blogged about one of my workshops about Democratizing Engagement. Specifically: has the Internet democratized community, even political, engagement?

Yesterday, I launched a new web page about online leadership. There is plenty of information about leading and supporting a team online, and I reviewed some of those suggested practices and resources in my workshop, but I wanted to focus this new web page solely on online leadership, on engaging in activities that influence others online, that create a profile for a person as someone that provides credible, important, even vital information about a particular subject. To me, leaders are looked to for advice, direction, knowledge and opinions on specific subjects, and their online activities, collectively, influence the thinking of others. And they engage online – they don’t just post information. They discuss, they acknowledge reactions and feedback, they even debate.

I’ve made it a web page, rather than a blog, because it’s a resource I intend to regularly update and maintain, part of my portfolio of online resources about working with others online. But your comments about the page, here on this blog, are welcomed!

University of Kentucky Duvall followup

logos for u of kentucky programsThe last week in October, I was the Fall 2015 Duvall Leader in Residence at the University of Kentucky’s Center for Leadership Development (CFLD), part of UK’s College of Agriculture,Food and Environment, in Lexington. CFLD supports leadership related activities within the UK College of Agriculture, the University of Kentucky campus, the local Lexington community and counties statewide. My visit was sponsored by the W. Norris Duvall Leadership Endowment Fund and the CFLD, and focused on leadership development and community development and engagement as both relate to the use of online media.

It was a fantastic experience! I just can’t say enough about how well the residency was put together, how well my time was utilized. My time and knowledge were fully exploited – exactly as it should be! Thanks, Lissa and Dakota!

Here is a list of topics for all the workshops and consultations I created and delivered for such:

I cover all of these topics throughout my web site and in The Last Virtual Volunteering Guidebook, but I will be blogging in detail about a few of the aforementioned individual topics in the coming weeks, because there’s more to say – particularly “Democratizing engagement: leading in a virtual world,” which proved to be a fascinating project and discussion. 

1028151154This consultancy got off to a rocky start, so I’m very glad it ended up working out so very well. My favorite part was getting to talk with the university students: they ask fantastic questions, they make me think, and they are so fearless when it comes to just about everything (except asking questions in class). AND THEY USE SOCIAL MEDIA: they were tweeting about what I was doing, replying to things I was posting, inviting people to later workshops – loved it! I want to give a shoutout to the University of Kentucky football team in particularly, as two of its players provided some key input in three of my classes that really helped move things along – and as one of those players went on to score a touchdown a few days later against Tennessee, perhaps I should be brought in to address the entire team?

They say that, to be a great at a sport, you have to “leave it all on the court” or “all on the field.” I tried to do the consultancy version of that in Kentucky last month. Proud of my work but, wow, I’m still exhausted!

Here are some more photos from this fantastic experience.

And I’ll say it again: oh how I dream to teach an entire university course (or two!)

Recruit board members to be board members, nothing more

I have heard many representatives of nonprofit organizations say things like:

  • We need an attorney on our board, to take care of all our legal issues.
  • We need a PR person on our board, to help with marketing.
  • We need an IT expert on our board, to also help with IT issues.

In fact, there’s someone on the TechSoup community saying something like this now. And my response is: No, you do NOT. There are many reasons this is a BAD idea, and this article from Hildy Gottlieb, “Finding Pro Bono Help through Board Recruitment,” details why better than I can say myself!

Yes, it is a great idea to seek pro bono help for your nonprofit or NGO! By all means! You can get volunteers who are accountants, experts in public relations, and even lawyers to help your nonprofit organizations. But there is a BIG difference in recruiting a volunteer for his or her expertise, so that he or she will provide your organization that expertise, and recruiting a volunteer to serve on your board.

Board members are there to govern –

to lead and guide the organization towards the community’s highest

aspirations. Board members are not there to do the work that should be done by

staff and/or volunteers.

More at “Finding Pro Bono Help through Board Recruitment.”

Also see:

  • Pro Bono / In-Kind / Donated Services for Mission-Based Organizations:
    When, Why & How?

    There are all sorts of professionals who want to donate their services — web design, graphic design, human resources expertise, legal advice, editing, research, and so forth — to mission-based organizations. And there are all sorts of nonprofits and NGOs who would like to attract such donated services. But often, there’s a disconnect — misunderstandings and miscommunications and unrealistic expectations that lead to missed opportunities and frustrating experiences. This resource, prompted by the topic coming up at the same time on a few online discussion groups I read, is designed to help both those who want to donate professional services and those who want to work with such volunteers. It’s applicable to a variety of situations, not just those involving computer and Internet-related projects.
  • Short-term Assignments for Tech Volunteers
    There are a variety of ways for mission-based organizations to involve volunteers to help with short-term projects relating to computers and the Internet, and short-term assignments are what are sought after most by potential “tech” volunteers. But there is a disconnect: most organizations have trouble identifying such short-term projects. This is a list of short-term projects for “tech” volunteers — assignments that might takes days, weeks or just a couple of months to complete.
  • Recruiting Local Volunteers To Increase Diversity Among the Ranks
    Having plenty of volunteers usually isn’t enough to say a volunteering program is successful. Another indicator of success is if your volunteers represent a variety of ages, education-levels, economic levels and other demographics, or are a reflection of your local community. Most organizations don’t want volunteers to be a homogeneous group; they want to reach a variety of people as volunteers (and donors and other supporters, for that matter). This resource will help you think about how to recruit for diversity, or to reach a specific demographic.
  • Using Third Party Web Sites Like VolunteerMatch to Recruit Volunteers
    There are lots and lots of web sites out there to help your organization recruit volunteers. You don’t have to use them all, but you do need to make sure you use them correctly in order to get the maximum response to your posts.

LinkedIn for Nonprofits? The Good & Bad

I love LinkedIn. It’s how I stay connected with so many of the colleagues I’ve worked with or presented with over the years, or people whose work I am intensely familiar with (and who know a great deal about my work as well).

What’s kept LinkedIn so valuable for me is that I don’t connect to just anyone on LinkedIn; I reserve my connections there for real colleagues – employees or volunteers, doesn’t matter – and treat their contact information there as oh-so-precious. It’s my online address book for current and former co-workers. If it went away, I’d be lost, as it’s my professional address book and my way to know who is where.

I appreciate all my LinkedIn colleagues who gateway their Twitter feeds to their LinkedIn status – that way, I can more easily catch up with what they are up to without having to subscribe to their Twitter feeds.

I tolerate LinkedIn groups. They are clunky: hard to navigate, bury discussions, make it hard to see who else is a member, and are severely limited (you are limited in how many discussions you can actually join). But worst of all, the content seems to be mostly pleas for employment, rather than substantive discussions/debates. YahooGroups is a MUCH better platform for discussion – easier to use, more features, allows much more control by individual members in terms of how they receive messages, and many of the groups are rich in content.

I would love it if more organizations would put their events in the LinkedIn event feature. Then everyone who is attending – including those who are presenting – could show via LinkedIn that they are attending, which is then seen by everyone they follow, and which then might lead to even greater attendance.

I appreciate that LinkedIn has a section for users to input their volunteer experience. But I don’t use it. Why? Because whether or not I was paid to head a project, manage other people, facilitate an online event or represent an organization shouldn’t matter in terms of my profile; the nature of that work, that accomplishment, that leadership should be what’s most important. Why should some of the best work I’ve done be segregated elsewhere on my profile merely because I wasn’t paid to do it?

Is LinkedIn of use for nonprofits and NGOs? Of course! In addition to what I’ve said above, it’s also a great way to review new people you are connecting with elsewhere – on Facebook, that you meet at this or that reception or read about in a newspaper article and think, hey, that might be a a great candidate for our marketing position (paid or volunteer – doesn’t matter!), or as a possible board member.  

But a word of advice: never email someone you have never met with an invitation to be a board member at your organization, no matter how great their profile is on LinkedIn. You need to make sure this person is going to be a good match at your organization before you offer him or her a leadership role, and that takes interviews and reference checks.

Should you use LinkedIn as I do? Maybe. Maybe not. My point with all of the above isn’t so much to say, use it like me, but to say: think strategically about how you use it, at least review all of the various features, and test many of them for yourself as well, to see if they are worthwhile for YOU, specifically.

Also see:

Pro Bono / In-Kind / Donated Services for Mission-Based Organizations:
When, Why & How?

Short-term assignments for tech volunteers

How to get rid of volunteers

Last week, I signed up to help at a community event, held yesterday.

Just. To. Help. To assist.

Yesterday, when I arrived at the event site – a public school – I found out I was in charge of the entire event. More than 30 kids would be there in an hour, expecting me to lead them through 90 minutes of activities that were completely foreign to me.

I don’t like kids.1 And I noted this at the time I signed up to help. I care about the cause, however, and as I was new to the committee – I just joined last week – I wanted to prove myself as a reliable, helpful committee member. By assisting at an event. By helping someone else in charge.

But there I was, in charge of an event I knew nothing about. About to face more than 30 kids, all under the age of 12.

I wasn’t scared. And that was good, because kids smell fear. No, instead, I was angry. Kids smell anger too, but it tends to make them listen to me. And that played to my advantage during the event – they never crossed that line into chaos that a large group of kids can so easily dissolve into.

Then there were the other adult volunteers, who were also there just to help, just to be nice. And they just kinda stood there, watching me try to pull it together. And as I was bossing those confused volunteers around in a frantic attempt to pull the event together, I wondered: Have each of these people been registered with the school and had a criminal background check? Is it my responsibility to check into that before they participate? Come to think of it, no one at the school checked to see that I was who I said I was, or asked me for my school volunteer I.D. number. How do I know any of these adults are safe to be around these kids?

I pulled the event off, on a very basic level. I drew on my experience as a manager of people, projects and events, on my two years of experience volunteering with the Girl Scouts (I’ve noticed that troop leaders at events get the kids started on an activity immediately and have them keep repeating it until volunteers are ready to move them on to the next activity), my experience having coordinated and directed more live events than is probably healthy for any one person in one lifetime, and by channeling my ever-so-bossy-but-organized Great Aunt Cornelia, who is still a legend in my family for her management abilities.

Also, it turns out none of the adult volunteers were predators nor inclined ignore kids engaging in dangerous behavior. Lucky kids. Lucky me.

In addition, the volunteer that was supposed to be in charge did have all of the materials and equipment ready to go at the site – that helped tremendously. However, she was astounded, upon arrival just after the kids started the first activity, that the emails she sent in the preceding days weren’t understood by me and others as completely signing off on responsibility for the event (she had, indeed, said in those emails she would be late, and said myself and another volunteer would be the “leads” for the other volunteers until she got there, and some emails came with attachments… But, of course, I thought the school principal would be in charge, since she was cc’d on everything, since I have no experience at all with this kind of event, since I had made it clear I was just signing up to help, and since, to her knowledge, I have no experience doing anything like this. And I don’t like kids).

Was the event a success? In my opinion, no. It wasn’t bad, and the kids had fun and were kept busy, but the reality is: the kids didn’t really learn anything about the subject at hand. They had fun, and they walked away happy, and that’s nice – but they didn’t walk away retaining any knowledge, which was the entire purpose of the event. No minds were changed, no behaviors altered – and that was the mission of the event. A lot could have been done at the event to create that knowledge, to ensure things were remembered, to better ensure some behaviors would change, but I would have needed more than 90 minutes of prep to make that happen.

In addition, this could have been an event where not only did kids get some really essential knowledge, but also, some adults could be inspired to help at future events. And that’s why it was a stark reminder about why I – and others – train in volunteer management issues (as well as why there are so many books on event management). And why so many schools and other organizations struggle to find volunteers.

Let’s face it: a great way to drive away volunteers is to sign them up to help at an event and, when they show up, tell them they are in charge. Or have them confused about what they are supposed to do, and feeling generally unsupported. Or have them bossed around for a couple of hours by a very confused and angry me.

Volunteer management isn’t just mindless bureaucracy, with forms to fill out and procedures to be followed. It’s about ensuring that an organization or program or department mission is met. It’s about ensuring volunteers don’t show up and just do some seemingly random activities. It’s about creating experiences that lead to awareness and inspiration – not just getting some work done. It’s about ensuring safety – not just keeping fingers crossed and hoping everything works out.

And effective volunteer management is what keeps volunteers coming back again and again.

Volunteer management also isn’t just one person’s responsibility; some person at that school trusted a volunteer explicitly with organizing a safe, meaningful event for students from the school. Who was that person? What is he or she going to do about what happened yesterday? Does he or she even know what happened – and what didn’t happen? Did they just walk by and think, yeah, the kids are having fun, no problems here? Are they reading this blog right now?

I know the volunteer that was supposed to be in charge isn’t reading this blog: she also sent me an email last week proudly stating that she doesn’t read blogs and isn’t on Twitter or Facebook. Just like so many people I’ve met here in Oregon, I’m sorry to say…

Here’s a positive: I’ve never been more dedicated to the fundamentals of volunteer management and effective, program-based planning than I am right now.

I still don’t like kids though…


1. Okay, I don’t hate kids. I sometimes find them quite amusing. I really love watching them learn. And I’m passionate about girls knowing just how many choices and opportunities are out there. But I do not think kids are automatically cute nor innocent nor sweet, and I also don’t like parents and other adults who think of kids as precious snowflakes who have every right to scream in a restaurant – though I cut a lot of slack on airplanes.

PSU Volunteer Management courses have started!

Erin Barnhart has put together a “Volunteerism and Volunteer Management” course for Portland State University, and I’m thrilled to be teaching one of the modules! I’ll join her and Kathleen Joy of Oregon Volunteers to present a series of intensive classes focused on those who work with volunteers in any capacity – or those that want to.

This comprehensive course will cover topics ranging from core competencies and emerging trends and tools for building and sustaining a successful volunteer program, to understanding the broad-reaching impacts of volunteer service and effective volunteer management, to engaging individuals in innovative and accessible ways to serve in their local neighborhoods, via their computers and smartphones, and in communities across the globe.

Unlike a lot of other volunteer management courses, this course will full integrate online tools into all discussions (not just a module at the end), and will discuss the international volunteering scene.

This course is comprised of four all-day sessions: 9 am – 4:30 pm on four Wednesdays, June 22, 29, July 6 and July 13. It can be taken non-credit or for-credit. If you missed registering for this summer, contact Sharon Hasenjaeger at PSU Institute for Nonprofit Management, (503) 725-8221 or hasenjs@pdx.edu, to express interest in a future course. Grad students register for PA592 CRN 82727 through the PSU website. Noncredit students register thru the INPM office, using this noncredit registration form. Tuition is $495 for non-credit enrollment. Graduate credit is $945 plus $41 fee.

I love teaching. I try to give my workshops a lively, audience-oriented feel. I use case studies to illustrate points, focus on both what’s happening now and what is trending, encourage a lot of student participation, and develop activities that get class participants designing strategies they can use immediately. My goal in any training is to give participants a base on which to further build and improve long after a class is over. My schedule fills up very quickly. Contact me and let me know what kind of training you might have in mind!



International Fellowship in USA For People from Select Developing Countries-Deadline June 30

The 2012 Ford Motor Company International Fellowship of the 92nd Street Y is currently accepting applications from community leaders who are citizens and residents of Albania, Bolivia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Haiti, India, Israel, Mongolia, Peru, Tunisia and Zambia. 20-24 emerging leaders from these regions will be selected.

Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, though younger applicants should note that candidates should have several years of leadership experience. Candidates are sought from a variety of backgrounds with the aim of creating a group of Fellows who will work well together and offer a diversity of views and experiences. Candidates should be emerging leaders addressing issues whose resolution can have a significant positive impact on their communities, on their countries, and—collectively—on the world.

Fellowship Application Deadline: June 30, 2011. For more information or to apply.

The program is designed to enhance the efforts of emerging leaders in communities throughout the world. The program includes a three week residency in New York City (May 30-June 20, 2012) and ongoing communication before and after the residency via telephone and email. Fellows are expected to complete reading, writing and group assignments prior to their residency to maximize the value of their fellowship experience and after their residency to evaluate its impact and success. Fellows participate in an intensive immersion experience designed to address the challenges of community building in today’s world. In partnership with the Picker Center for Executive Education at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, fellows participate in classes and participatory workshops in nonprofit management, leadership, and strategic thinking.

The academic curriculum is complemented by visits to model nonprofits throughout New York City and meetings with academic, business, and government leaders. The experience is enhanced by the Fellows’ residency at the 92nd Street Y, an institution founded in 1874 that has grown to serve over 300,000 people annually. At once a school, a lecture hall, a performance space, and a community organization, the 92nd Street Y is a nonprofit organization unique in the world and vital to the cultural life of New York City. The 92nd Street Y is world’s first global Jewish community and cultural center.