360-Degree Volunteer Engagement Idea Exchange 2020 Calendar

Guidelines and Format: The 3600 Volunteer Engagement Idea Exchange, aka The Exchange, serves as a forum for a monthly sharing of ideas and resources between State staff and volunteers. Discussion topics addressing the entire cycle of Volunteer Engagement are circulated in advance. These 45-minute meetings are conducted via ZOOM software, hosted by State staff and OVE volunteers, and open to anyone with interest in the topic to be covered. The ZOOM meeting ID remains

Exchange participants have provided many samples of materials used to encourage volunteers. Many of the collected resources are availably posted through a public Chatter Group – The Exchange – on the Volunteer Portal. All are invited to participate in the Exchange.

JANUARY – 01/08/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Volunteer Recruitment
How are you responding to the call to increase volunteers?
What resources have you found to support your recruitment efforts?
What easy entry roles have you identified that might work to increase volunteer numbers?
What is a workable strategy for linking volunteers to the priorities of your state plan?

FEBRUARY – 02/12/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Volunteer On-boarding and Orientation
Do you handle urban and rural area volunteer orientation differently?
Have you tried assigning orientation training via the Volunteer Portal as supported by OVE? Was the assignment effective?
How much work is necessary from staff to support volunteer orientation and on-boarding?
What roles have you found for volunteers to lead in orientation and on-boarding? What additional roles would you like to see volunteers assume in orientation and on-boarding?

MARCH – 03/11/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Volunteer Involvement in the 2020 Election Cycle/Census – (Guest Speaker)
How do you engage advocacy volunteers when the law-making body is not in session?
What involvement have your volunteers had in the Census? How about in using Census data?
What training is provided to volunteers who identify as advocacy supporters? Is the training adequate for your needs? According to volunteer perceptions?

APRIL – 04/08/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Increasing Volunteer Engagement During a Pandemic (and Other Challenges)
What are you working on that can be done virtually for volunteer events, engagements? Different ideas in addition to posting on social media?
What is the expected time frame to get these events going? Sooner, later? If later, what barriers have you encountered?
How have you included those volunteers who are not comfortable with technology (only use phone)?
How will you involve members and communicate with them to let them know of these events if they do not use email?
What steps and processes did you or do you go through to get events approved to be done virtually?

MAY – 05/13/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Using Virtual Platforms to Enhance Volunteer Communication and Information – (Guest Speaker)
What is “The Roost” podcast and how can it help me improve the volunteer experience?
Are there Best Practices to surprise and delight our volunteers when using virtual systems?
What options for virtual connectivity with volunteers has anyone used? What has worked best according to responses from volunteers?

JUNE – 06/10/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Increasing Volunteer-led Events
What is the actual definition of a volunteer-led event?
What volunteer-led events have been successful in communities?
Are there workable partnerships in place with NRTA and other education-based groups that enhance volunteer-led capacity?
What are the pitfalls/challenges to increasing volunteer-led events?
How do you handle logistics for supplies and other accessories for volunteer-led events?
What additional support, if any, is needed from OVE to increase volunteer-led events?

JULY – 07/08/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Evaluating Current Volunteer Efforts
What is a Best Practice to use to evaluate volunteer efforts?
How does one develop and communicate a clear picture of what success will look like?
Does your volunteer environment include opportunities for personal growth?
How do you manage expectations for volunteer performance?

AUGUST – 08/12/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Recognizing and Retaining Volunteers (Guest Speaker)
What AARP awards are in use with your volunteers?
How does one go about adapting rewards to different needs for volunteers?
What would be most helpful to you to enhance volunteer retention and recognition?

SEPTEMBER – 09/09/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Localizing Priority Issue Areas – What Works?
What have been your most successful priority issue areas for volunteer participation?
How do you provide training for volunteers and support DIY presentation delivery?
What is a Best Practice to increase the number of volunteers who lead or co-lead specialized sub-teams?
What are the Best Practices for communicating with volunteers when they have multiple staff partners?

OCTOBER – 10/14/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Engaging Volunteers in Planning – (Guest Speaker)
What are the most successful ways to involve volunteers in annual planning?
Do you hold a volunteer “summit’ to plan the year or goals?
What has worked especially thinking of budget?
How did planning work for 2019 to select priority areas for strengthening community-based volunteer teams? What challenges did you encounter in 2020 when working through the selected

NOVEMBER – 11/11/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: Designing Work for Volunteer Involvement
What is a Best Practice for using the Volunteer Portal to support daily involvement?
How does one develop position descriptions that provide a meaningful volunteer experience?
What sources of support have you found to involve volunteers more effectively?

DECEMBER – 12/09/2020 2:05 pm Eastern
THEME: The Exchange – Year in Review
What topics or discussions were most helpful this year?
What topics do you wish had bee addressed/discussed by the Exchange?
Please suggest an OVE/State office/volunteer partnership strategy to better facilitate your positive accomplishments and make your job easier.

About AARP States
AARP is active in all 50 states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Connect with AARP in your state.