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Volunteer Management Quick Tips:
Have Fun

by Susan J. Ellis

Make people laugh. Fun is an important reason why people like to volunteer in groups, so make sure the time on site is enjoyable. Get a clown or a mime (even if it’s you, in costume!) to stop by for a little while at some point during the work and interact with individual volunteers while others watch.

It may sound silly, but try leading “singing while we work” sessions, possibly with moldy-oldie songs that people might remember from their childhood. Of course, some volunteers will hate this idea, preferring the chance to talk with one another. In that case, either only do the singing for a short while or – even better – do this only if sub-sets of volunteers work in different rooms or locations, so that people can choose to sing or not.

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About the Author:

Susan J. Ellis is president of Energize, Inc.(, an international training, consulting, and publishing firm specializing in volunteerism. Susan writes the “Tip of the Month” for the free Volunteer Management Online Update, e-mailed monthly upon request. These tips are not published elsewhere and this “Quick Tip” selection has been excerpted from Updates distributed between 2000 and 2005.

You can receive the free Update directly into your e-mail box every month and keep up with all of Susan’s tips. Go to and submit your e-mail address using the form in the right hand column of every page or simply send an e-mail to with "subscribe" in the subject line.

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