The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier

Section XIII

Preparing and Supporting the Leadership Professional

June 1999

The page #'s refer to the pages of the "New Volunteerism  Project: The Ivan Scheier Archival Collection."
Five bound volumes placed in the Reference collection of the
Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University
Table of Contents Page #
Introductory Notes
"Stop Wasting Training Time! Try the S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D Workshop" 3-6
"The S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D Workshop: An Outline" @ 7
"A Volunteer Consultant’s Story" @ 8-16
"The Scheier Project" @ 17
"Statement of Purpose – Voluntas: The Center for Creative Community" @ 18-20
"What They Say About Voluntas" @ 21
"The Establishment and Use of Retreat Residences @ 22-23

                   and Other Refection-Friendly Situations"

"A Stillpoint Philosophy"  @ 24-32

@ -- permission for use-with-acknowledgment
-- Appropriate permission must be secured from the publisher for re-publication

 Introductory Notes on Preparing and Supporting People
In Their Work In Leadership of Volunteers
Ivan Scheier
June 1999

The role of volunteer coordinator, especially, is a most challenging one. The person in that role by no means always received adequate preparation and support.

That preparation and support, as I saw it, is provided in three major ways: organizational support, training, and consulting.

My work in Staff/Volunteer Relations (Section XIV) was an attempt to secure more organizational support of the Volunteer Coordinator, or at least reduce resistance.

As for training and consulting, I pretty much did the traditional thing as a trainer and consultant for some twenty-five years. That is to say, I wrote articles and manuals, conducted workshops, and made flying visits to consult with programs offering an "answer an hour." Eventually, however, my intrinsic maverickness asserted itself and I began to envision other alternative models for preparing and supporting the person responsible for providing leadership for volunteers.

In regard to training, I began to see the need for fewer workshops more carefully planned, each spanned over a longer time period, with much more preparation before hand and follow-up after, in what was essentially a hybrid of workshop and training and consulting. This concept is described in the first article: "Stop Wasting Training Time! Try the S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-D Workshop" in The Journal of Volunteer Administration, Spring 1986. (Pages 3-6)

Another concern I had about the typical workshop was its inadequacy in truly covering the needs of many people who usually were, literally and figuratively, coming from many different places, – trying to do this, moreover, without having any significant direct experience with their workplace. My personal experiment in dealing with this is described in an unpublished report enclosed here entitled: "With That Last Suggestion Alone, You Just Earned Your Pay: A Volunteer Consultant’s Story" (also called, "The Diary of a Gypsy Consultant.") 1986, (pages 8-16)

The conventional methods, plus the alternatives described above, essentially provided information,* affirmation, and effective strategy in support of program/community leaders. Fine, but in recent years I began to see that the front-line leader of volunteers/community action also needed more, via a chance to get away, think, renew, recharge batteries, give some wounds a chance to start healing. So, since 1990, I’ve invested a major part of my energy in developing and hosting retreat residences. The first was VOLUNTAS from 1990-1996, in Madrid, New Mexico (pages 18-31). The second is STILLPOINT, 1996 to the present, somewhat differently oriented but still relevant, located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico (pages 24-32).

* Also in libraries which I always had, and today, on the Internet as well.

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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340

For comments and editing suggestions please contact Mary Lou McNatt