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Summer Special: Volunteer Manager Game

“Say What?”

You can play this game at any staff, volunteer or volunteer manager gathering.

Write two or three very short stories about volunteering or volunteer management. (Sample below.) Leave out key words making sure you have a mix of nouns, adjectives, exclamations, etc. left out. At the event ask the group to supply these words and write them into the blanks in the order they are given. Then read the story aloud with the new words. Hilarity will ensue.


“Volunteer Ad”

_____ job title Needed at _____ name of organization We are seeking a(n) _____ adjective volunteer to help the organization _____ number days a week in our office in _____ location. This person will work with _____ adjective people to help them get the _____ plural noun they need to _____ verb. This person must be at least _____ number years old and know of how a _____ noun works. If you are interested in helping the _____ plural noun in our ______ adjective community, please send a _____ noun to _____ name of person by _____ date. We will contact you _____ adverb to arrange an interview.

What this might turn out like:

“Volunteer Ad”

Assistant Secretary of Labor Needed at New World Order. We are seeking a frozen volunteer to help the organization 8 days a week in our office (in) three miles south of Omaha. This person will work with distraught people to help them get the geese they need to slap. This person must be at least 3.75 years old and know how an egg works. If you are interested in helping the keyboards in our confusing community, please send a bus to Bill Clinton by July 28, 2144. We will contact you harshly to arrange an interview.

And here’s another for you!

“Volunteer Recognition Speech”

Good evening. It is a _____ adjective pleasure to meet with all of you here tonight to honor you for your _____ adjective volunteer work for The ____ nonsense word Center for the Advancement of _____ group of people. Your _____ adjective volunteer program manager tells me that all of you together have donated ____ number hours of service making sure that the ______ adjective people of _____ place name have enough _____ plural noun. Thanks to your _____ personal quality it will be possible for _____ adjective people like _____ name of famous person standing here to my _____ direction to _____ intransitive verb so s/he can attend college in ____ city and country to study _____ plural noun. I’m going to let you dig in to this wonderful dinner of _____ food and fried food now, but later on I’ll be announcing the volunteer achievement awards for _____ superlative adjective Volunteer of the _____ period of time and the award for the volunteer who _____ past tense verb the most _____ plural noun in the _____ year. We’ll also pass out this year’s ____ adjective recognition gift: each of you will receive a _____ noon with the ____ organization logo!

Get the idea? Have fun! Laughter is a great team builder and stress reliever!

Nan Hawthorne

About the Contributor: Nan Hawthorne

Nan Hawthorne is a professional journalist and content developer living in the Seattle area and has been a practitioner, trainer, consultant, and writer in the profession of volunteer resource management for many years. She came to international attention as founder and coordinator of the CyberVPM online forum, a pioneering effort in using the Internet for professional networking in the field of volunteer resource management. She is the founder of International Volunteer Managers Appreciation Day, held every November 1.
Hawthorne is the author of three training kits, “Recognizing Volunteers Right from the Start,” “Building Better Relationships with Volunteers,” and “Managing Volunteers in Record Time.” She has written over 150 articles on volunteer management. In addition, she has written articles for eSight Careers Network, specifically regarding competitive careers for those who are, like herself, blind or partially sighted.
Hawthorne has received recognition for her work through a Dufort Award for Excellence in Volunteer Management, as Nonprofit Nuts and Bolts “Favorite Internet Resource [provider] on Volunteer Management,” the Victim-Assistance Online Award for Excellence, LA Times Pick of the Day, as well as having a biography included in “Who’s Who in America.”
Hawthorne is best known for her “what works?” approach to developing and managing volunteer programs.

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