Episode #049: Behind the Scenes at Our VolunteerPro Membership Makeover

Welcome to the Volunteer Nation Podcast, bringing you practical tips and big ideas on how to build, grow, and scale volunteer talent. I’m your host, Tobi Johnson, and if you rely on volunteers to fuel your charity, cause membership or movement, I made this podcast just for you. Well, hello, they’re my friends.

Welcome to another episode of The Volunteer Nation. I cannot believe. We are almost to our 50th episode. It seems like this podcast just started yesterday, and I am so appreciative of all of you listeners for listening, tuning in, sharing with friends. We really appreciate each and every one of you, so. I’m hoping I can deliver another value bomb today,

I’m going to talk about behind the scenes at our VolunteerPro membership makeover. We just today pushed the button, uploaded the last video, and made the last tiny adjustments to our VolunteerPro membership community learning hub. It is a full-on makeover. It is so exciting to have it done, and I thought I would share a little bit, a sneak peek behind the scenes of this new part of our VolunteerPro membership.

It’s actually an old part that’s been renovated into a new part and to show you what we’ve got going on inside the VolunteerPro membership, but also to maybe share a little bit of my thinking in how I develop online learning so that if you are potentially developing online learning for volunteers or coworkers. You’ll get some ideas and tips and tricks.

I hope there’s two goals to this. I want to share what we’re doing with the VolunteerPro membership, and I also want to give you some tips. So that’s what we are up to. Way back in the day, I’ve been in training and instructional design for a while now. I got to admit it. It’s been decades and I remember the last learning technology flux or sort of flection point when things changed a little bit.

And it was way back when I was hired by an organization to go out and train volunteers in the field. And I had a large region and I would travel to different sites throughout the month and train volunteers and update them every month on our work because it was highly technical work and they needed updating all the time and they like to get together and we had a good.

And when I was doing this training, I would bring the old slide transparencies. And for those of you who are new to training, you may not remember these because you didn’t have to use them. But those of you who’ve been around for a while, you’re nodding your head going, oh yeah, I remember those slide transparencies.

And we had a transparency. I had to bring an extra light bulb so in case my projector would burn out, I would have a backup light bulb. I would print out all my PowerPoint slides on these clear plastic transparency slides, and I would place them on the projector as I was training. I can’t believe it.

It was forever ago, and I remember the first time we got projectors. And we would hook up our laptop to the projector and the projector. We got rid of the transparency slides, and we would project our training through the laptop. Now this is common today. This is how we do our thing. And most of the time, projectors are already, mounted on the ceiling and you’re hooking your computer into a wire on a podium and it’s much easier. But back then, even using the projectors, if you did not set up your, your projector and connect it to your computer in the right order, the slides would not show up. So there was a lot of fussing around and I remember feeling really uneasy about that.

And I would bring my old projector with my light bulbs and my plastic sleeves, and I would actually print out my backup slides and for I would say a good year, I did not feel comfortable using the projector because I was never sure whether or not the computer would talk to the projector. And those of you who remember those times are probably nodding your head saying yes.

I totally remember that. You just never knew and you didn’t want to be in front of your audience like fiddling around with your projector. Fast forward to now, and you may be one of those people who hasn’t yet dipped your baby toe too much into the online learning space. You may have posted a few videos online, but you haven’t yet developed.

Learning inside a course platform, and it’s sort of the same thing. You’ve got to dive in, you’ve got to get uncomfortable. Sometimes you’re leaning on your old school for a little while, but I can tell you it’s another learning influx flexion point in, technology and technology is constantly evolving and we just have to, you know, keep iterating.

You know, it used to be old school with slide transparency. Well now old school is in-person training in a lot of ways. It’s not to say that in-person training isn’t going away, but when it comes to people’s busy schedules, online learning is really great. There’s a lot of reasons. Online learning, learning is fantastic.

One is that you can go back to the learning over and over and over again, and back to the tutorials and back to the courses, and back to the downloads and the workbooks, and you can find it all in one place. When you do face-to-face learning, you basically talk, it’s over, and if people don’t remember or didn’t take good notes or got distract. Game over.

They’re having a hard time remembering things now. There are positive things about learning in person, networking, building relationships, all that good stuff. So I would never throw that over entirely for online learning if you have the opportunity to bring your volunteers together. But it’s not always the case.

And so I wanted to use our VolunteerPro membership. Community Learning Hub is a bit of a case study to show you what we do when we develop something really solid. So we’re going to peek behind the curtain into how we go about developing our VolunteerPro membership curriculum. I’m going to share some of my key takeaways when it comes to developing online learning that might help you if you are.

With developing training for volunteers or coworkers, we decided to update our curriculum for several reasons. One was that we have two platforms and one great membership. So on one side of our membership, we have our Kajabi learning hub, and this is our online course platform where we can post videos and help people access information quickly and also in specific orders if we want.

And then we have Circle for our Pro Talk forum. And in that side of the house, our members can find resources, they can sign up for our live events, they can communicate with one another and with my team and myself. And so we’ve really always had a separate community forum and a core curriculum or Kajabi learning.

But the learning hub started to be more of just a library of replay recordings, and we would often hear from our members, you know what, where should we start? We feel lost. There’s so much valuable content here, but we’re not sure where to start. So it is possible to have too much resources. I’m going to say that that was one of my key learning.

It’s possible to have too much resource. Now, we’re not going to take away our resource because we know our replay recordings. We have hundreds of replay recordings, we have hundreds of downloads, but everybody doesn’t need all of that information at once. And so we made those very, very searchable. And then we curated the most important core curriculum.

And so I think that will help people save time and focus. Now the other thing we wanted to update our curriculum, another reason was we have members at all levels. So we have folks that are brand new to volunteer engagement. We have folks who’ve been around for 20 years and they weren’t sure which parts of the curriculum applied to them.

And so we created what we call our Volunteer Strategy Success Path Guide, and I’ll talk about that a little bit more in later on. That Success Path guide helps people locate, kind of self-assess quickly where they are, and it’s separated into levels as well as our learning hub is separated into levels of early stage adapting and mature.

So folks can kind or locate themselves in the curriculum. If they’re a beginner, then they’re going to want to start with early. So if you’re working with volunteers of a variety of levels, you have volunteers who’ve been around for a really long time, you have brand new volunteers, you might want to organize your online training into buckets so folks can quickly find what’s relevant to them at their level.

So that’s another reason we updated our VolunteerPro membership curriculum, and then we just wanted to more heavily curate and focus our energies on the things that we thought were the most essential for leaders of volunteers, the steps that they should take to more quickly get to their results.

Because there’s a lot of information out there in the world, people are hunting and pecking for ideas, but they come to our community to get focus and clarity is a huge value we can offer. And so part of it was, you know what? We need to lean into that promise of providing clarity. And that’s what we’ve done.

Other thing I want to do before I go on and talk more in more detail is to shout out to Chelsea Banaskavich. She’s our former community manager and she helped me build out this new curriculum and system. She was amazing. She did a lot of behind-the-scenes work, a lot of putting together the work. Books, putting together the slides, it really was a collaborative effort and I just could not have done it without her, so I could cannot have a conversation about this without calling her out.

So Chelsea, if you’re listening, I really appreciate all you did to build out this curriculum. Okay. Also, before we get going, if you want more tips on volunteer training, development and delivery, don’t forget to check out Volunteer Nation episode 12, training volunteers. What I wish I’d known, I dish a little bit on the mistakes I made when I started training volunteers.

So if you want to know more about my history and what and what I think about training, you can check out that. All right, so let’s talk about online courses. The reason, as I said, I like online courses is because people can go back over and over again. They can also hit the pause button. Now, that’s different than having things in a YouTube channel.

An online course actually tracks people’s progress through, and you can curate videos, small tutorial, short tutorial videos, and put them in a certain order and put them in modules together. So there’s a lot of organization, and the good news is today. We use Kajabi as our learning management system, but in combination with Circle as our Community Forum.

But you don’t have to use Kajabi. You could use Teachable, you could use Thinkific. There are others as well. So there are lots of learning management systems out there and they’re really not super, super expensive. So there’s really no reason not to take your volunteer training. The other thing I mentioned is we have a model that we use called the Volunteer Strategy Success Path.

It’s our bespoke proprietary system that we started using in our VolunteerPro membership, and then also use it to guide all of our other curriculum. So our volunteer fundamentals that work certificate course is an early overview of just the basics of that Volunteer Strategy Success Path are soon to be released.

So all the curriculum we do has a core spine. And I recommend that if you’re developing volunteer curriculum, that you develop a method or system of some kind that is the overlying sort of architecture or foundation or blueprint for everything you do, rather than creating random.

Separate modules, create something that works together that is aligned. This custom framework that we use has been through years of refinement, and it really represents the essential ingredients that we believe need to be in place to support a volunteer strategy that thrives. And so part of the reason we like to have a volunteer strategy success path is that it’s a standard against which our members check against.

It sort of serves as a checklist so they can say, okay, which of these milestones have I completed? And we really curated it down to the level of two to three lessons per level within each of our phases. So we have five phases and each of those faces has three levels of experience or maturity.

And within those levels, we only have two to three videos and milestones or deliverables that we recommend people complete. So it’s very focused. That’s the point of having a success path. And so we really want to help people be able to move forward, but in a very focused way that saves them. So when you’re thinking about developing a learning system for volunteers, think about creating a success path.

What do volunteers need to know? What knowledge, skills and abilities do they need to know early on and all the way through, all the way through their journey with you? Now, the other thing I like about a success path, it’s really different than other kinds of training or other kinds of models of instruction because it offers a systemic approach with actionable milestones.

At the end of each of our tutorial videos, I recommend a milestone, a deliverable to complete. And then we offer within the workbook that goes with each phase of our five phases. And I’m going to go through these five phases so you get a sense of what they are. But each phase has a workbook and those deliverables and instructions are inside that workbook so people can keep moving forward with a blueprint.

Don’t ask people to make things. If you want people to be fully trained and independent and work with confidence in your organization, you’ve got to give them a system to work off, right? So folks could go and hunt and peck within our system and they still can. We have a fully searchable video vault where people can search our entire video library by keyword.

So, if somebody wanted to find out how do I dismiss a volunteer, they could write in, and they would go exactly to that point in that video where I’m talking about that, and they could quickly listen to that section and watch that section. But again, that’s all great when you’re already on your way.

But if you’re lost in the woods, you need a map and a compass, and that’s what our success path. Now I thought I would also help you understand the success path in a little bit more detail by helping you understand what are the phases in our success path. So ours is developed around the volunteer life cycle.

And these are the five phases that we believe are the most important, just based on my years and years working in nonprofits, building programs from scratch, working with clients, working with our members. Our VolunteerPro community has been in existence since 2015, so eight years.

So we started this community way before memberships were a thing. It was very early on. Now, paid community memberships are not uncommon with content producers, but it’s really something that we started way early on. So let’s talk about these success path phases. And by the way, we didn’t start out with a success path.

We didn’t have a success path in 2015. And we started to hear people like, hey, we’re feeling overwhelmed. We’re not understanding. And I said, you know what? We need a success path. And then we started hearing, we’re still overwhelmed. So then we need to have core curriculum. So this has been an iteration over time.

So if you’re developing, volunteer, a learning system for your volunteers of modules of curriculum. Know that it’s going to be iterative. You’re not going to get it exactly right away, and that’s okay. You need to get something out there, start using it, and then learn from your learners. So let’s talk about this volunteer strategy success path that is the core of everything we do inside the VolunteerPro membership.

First phase is envision the future, and if you are listening and participated in Vision Week last December, our five day bootcamp for strategic planning and volunteer engagement, that is basically this phase. It’s envisioning what you want to happen in your volunteer strategy and in your organization when it comes to volunteers.

So it’s about building a bold and strategic vision for leveraging volunteer talent to meet core agency needs. In this phase, we’re really helping people gain clarity on their vision for volunteer engagement, where it is now, and how it can better align with the organization’s goals and aim. It really is a critical phase and one that people often neglect because it really paints the picture of a promise of what’s possible when it comes to volunteer engagement at your organization.

We’re also in this phase, ask our members to reflect on their own leadership philosophies because it’s not only in envisioning of the volunteer strategy. It’s also an envisioning of your individual leadership strengths, where you want to head as a leader, because in the end, you’re leading right. It will set the stage, setting your leadership philosophy in setting that in stone will set the stage for future decisions and actions.

So phase one of our success path is envision the future. And so inside our VolunteerPro membership learning hub, there is a core curriculum module called Envision. And then it’s broken up into early stage adapting and mature and has lessons and has a workbook, and it’s all neat and tidy. So that’s phase one.

Phase two is build the foundation. So this is really essential program development elements to support long-term success. So in this phase, You will build the essential blueprint that will guide the implementation of your volunteer strategy. So these elements really evolve over time, but they really focus on risk management, standard operating procedures.

And all of those key human resources elements that you often think of when you think about volunteer programs, like a volunteer handbook, like your policies and procedures, those kinds of things that are your application process, your onboarding process, all of those things. It’s sort of the quote unquote paperwork side of the house.

Essential, but not the only thing. And I think many folks believe that build the foundation. This phase is really the only thing you need to do besides recruitment and retention, and our experience is, no, that’s not the case. It’s great to have all your paperwork in order, but there’s other things that need to go on as well.

So this is only dedicated to one of our five phases. So that’s phase two, build the foundation. Again, it has its own module inside the course in the learning hub, it has its own bite size tutorials and it’s broken up by levels of maturity. So when you’re thinking about developing volunteer curriculum or curriculum to train coworkers on how to work with volunteers more effectively, you want to think about chunking things out so people can slowly make sure, make their way through also scan and maybe go to that phase in your success path where they can grab that information really quickly if that’s something they’re working on now.

Phase three is grow engagement. These are modern recruitment strategies to attract a diverse fan base of supporters. So in this phase, it’s all about volunteer recruitment. This is probably going to be our most visited phase in the success path. These are probably going to be the lessons that get watched over and over again, but these are.

In this phase, you’ll set goals for the number of and kinds of volunteers you hope to engage and put into place an outreach and marketing system that can help you get there and you’ll specify the ideal volunteers you hope to mobilize and will develop a strategy to build a fan base using both online and on land tactics to reach volunteers where they’re.

So in this phase, it’s really about building a system. It’s not a bunch of videos about here are all the mini tips and tricks and tactics. This is about creating a volunteer recruitment strategy. And so some of our lessons in our success path have templates that you can download, and these are usually plans or assessment templates.

In this case, it’s a volunteer recruitment campaign template. It’s 24 pages long, and it’s a word doc that you can enter in your information. So the other key takeaway here is if you’re developing things for volunteers, add downloads. We don’t have a ton of downloads. We have lots of resources in our community, but they’re in our pro talk forum side of the house in the success path.

We keep things very streamlined. with a workbook in each phase. And then in this particular phase, we also have, with one of the lessons, a downloadable template. We, in some other lessons we do as well. And so when you’re creating curriculum for volunteers or coworkers, you want to make sure that if there are time saving templates, that you separate them out from your workbook because they’re going to be standalone documents ultimately.

So you want to think in your mind, how can I save my learner time, time and aggravation? That is our constant question here at VolunteerPro. How can we save our members time? Because we know they’re all really busy. So that’s phase three. Grow engagements all about recruitment. It offers a very systematic way of looking at recruitment.

Step by step by step, we guide folks. The other thing that happens is folks can go into the pro top forum side of the community and ask questions in our forum. And so if they’re learning and have questions, they can go ask questions. And we also have a coaching call every month where folks can request the hot seat.

And in fact, last week or last month, we did a hot seat with a VolunteerPro member and helped her really figure out how to find volunteer drivers that are available during the day. And I took, coached her through a step-by-step process to figure that out. And so, That’s our phase three grow engagement.

Now we’re going to take a quick break and after the break we’re going to return and talk more about our VolunteerPro membership, and I’ll share some more phases in our success path and then I’ll give you some. Key takeaways from what we’ve learned from years and years of developing online learning. If you enjoyed this week’s episode of Volunteer Nation, we invite you to check out the VolunteerPro Premium Membership.

This community is the most comprehensive resource for attracting, engaging, and supporting dedicated high impact volunteer talent for your good because VolunteerPro Premium helps you build or renovate an effective What’s working now? Volunteer program with less stress and more joy so that you can ditch the overwhelm and confidently carry your vision forward.

It is the only implementation of its kind that helps your organization build maturity across five phases of our proprietary system, the volunteer success path. If you’re interested in learning more, visit volpro.net/join. Okay, we’re back with our discussion about our VolunteerPro membership community and how we have developed.

Our newest learning hub, the makeover has been fantastic. It is a labor of love. It’s taken us literally months, but we are finally done. And I’m sharing, kind of pulling back the curtain a little bit and sharing a little bit about what happened behind the scenes, but also sharing some tips along the way that you can apply to your volunteer.

So we were talking about our phases, our phases in our success path. Before the break, we started with phase one, envision we start, then we went to phase two, which was build and then phase three. Phase four is sustain involvement, improving the volunteer experience to retain high impact volunteer.

So in this phase, you will take purposeful steps to retain volunteer talent and amplify the impact of their work. This phase also includes volunteer supervision and recognition activities, and also a strategy for encouraging deeper commitment. And then finally, understanding the volunteer’s point of view is key to success.

So you’ll gather volunteer input and make decisions based on feedback collected in a purposeful. Now what I mean by feedback collected in a purposeful way is through surveys, through interviews, through focus groups, those kinds of things. And so in phase four, it’s really about. Everything you can do, doing everything you can do to improve the volunteer experience.

So we want to talk in this success pathway phase, we share training on how to develop volunteer feedback surveys. We talk about some of the key areas of supervision because, hey, you know what if you can’t lead people and volunteers are a special breed to lead. It is not the same as supervising paid.

It’s a different skillset, and so we want to help people understand what are the key skills around that. So that’s sustain involvement. Again, as you think about developing your volunteer training, think about what are the different buckets or within a success path. What are the stages volunteers are going to go through, and what do they need to know at each stage?

Okay. Let’s talk about phase five. This is our final phase. Now, when you develop a success path for your volunteers, you don’t want to really do more than five at the very most six phases in your success path. It really is a roadmap that needs to be concise. So if you have more than six steps or five steps, then you’ve got to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to refine.

And you know what? Keeping things and creating things that are simple is hard work. It takes time to figure this out. This has been refined over years. You on by our, on our side. So I know that it takes a while to figure this out. So let’s talk about phase five scale leadership. This is an area of volunteer engagement that I think is largely neglected, largely neglected.

In this phase, it’s about purposeful leadership development and collaboration for sustainable impact. So what do I mean by sustainable? Well, in this phase, you will take steps to delegate and distribute response through your team. So delegating and distributing responsibility because if you are truly to scale as a leader of volunteers, you may be a department of one.

You may have a small team you’re working with. You may be a leader that works with an enterprise network of chapters, whatever it is. Doesn’t matter how many, how many other people are doing the work. You still, if you are taking primary responsibility for things, then you are limit, you are limited by the hours in the day.

Full stop. There’s, you will not scale past the number of hours you can work, and you’ll probably burn yourself out if you try to do too much. And so at this point, phase five is at the far right of the success path for a reason, because it is an advance level, but it’s also something we want to encourage early stage folks to get involved in as well.

But it really is something, it’s usually an afterthought, but we want to make sure that it’s part of the picture. So as volunteer engagement grows at your agency, it will be impossible for you to keep tabs on everything. When you’re finding success, it gets overwhelming and it may be overwhelming even before that.

So that’s where a trained and highly effective team of volunteer leaders and coworkers can help. Also, in this phase, we teach you how to look outside your organization and develop mutually beneficial partnerships that can help you meet your goals. And so in this case, for this phase, if you are thinking about developing a success path for volunteers, absolutely include a phase that is about leadership development.

You really want to bake in a leadership pipeline, and one of the best ways to do it is to include it in your core curriculum and then you’re queuing to volunteers. Hey, leader, Opportunities are available here. We’d like to prepare you. We believe that volunteers can lead all of those things, so make it part of your core curriculum, of your core success path rather than trying to create something else, something as set aside or something special.

Include it integrated as part of the whole kitten caboodle. So those are our success path phases, one is envision, phase two is build. Phase three is grow. Phase four is sustain, and phase five is scale. Now, one other thing I wanted to do was share, and I promised I would some lessons learned through this very extensive curriculum development project.

Now, your project does not have to be this intense, it took us a while to pull this together. We combed through hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of slides and slide decks and tools and downloads and all the history of the VolunteerPro membership . We basically looked through it and tried to call it all down to this essential group of lessons that we developed and repurposed and also renovated.

So it is definitely a make. I would not say we went in and developed a lot of brand new curriculum because it just wasn’t necessary. We actually have a lot of fantastic curriculum inside our community, but it’s all over the place and people needed to have it in a step by step order within our success path.

 So few lessons learned from this process. So first of all, give yourself way more time than you think you. Simplicity can take a long time to achieve. It seems counterintuitive. It seems like easier, the more simple it is, the easier it is to do not so pruning.

And I have tons of trainings I’ve developed and I like every idea we’re sharing. Otherwise, I wouldn’t share those ideas. But at some point you got to prune. It’s part of every time I develop my list, one of my last steps is to go back and prune, and I always have to prune some things out. Always, always.

And I still have jam packed training. So give yourself time, simplicity takes time to achieve. Second lesson, use a mix of methods. So in this curriculum, we included direct to camera video. So me talking directly to the camera and voiceover PowerPoint, most of the training is voiceover PowerPoint, but I introduce each success path step with me speaking directly to the camera.

Now, this is the first time I’ve done this and I have to say I’m really excited about it. I wish I would’ve done it. We get all worried about talking in front of cameras and what do we look like and ugh, I don’t want to do that. Well, you know what? People like to see your lovely face and they want to connect with a human, and so I really do believe in direct to camera.

It just took me a long time to get there, and so I can see now that everything’s inside the learning hub. I can see that that’s a really great add. It’s a great value add, helps inspire people to keep going. I can connect with people because we have hundreds of members, so I can’t connect with each member every day, but at least I can connect with them there and they can hear my tone of voice and they can see my face and see how excited I am about each success path step.

So I like to mix my methods when it comes to video. Another learning is offer downloadable resources and workbooks for next steps. There is training out there and I like workbooks that consolidate everything into one except for our, as I’ve talked about, our templates. I like things rather than giving people a ton of ton of downloads.

I like the workbooks. We’re going this route. Now, in other of our courses, we don’t go that route. We offer other, we offer small downloads but in this case, we’re asking people to work through a process, and so that having a workbook for each success path stage makes sense. But the bottom line is make sure you’re giving people something that they can take away to guide their transition from learning to action.

I do this for everything I do, even keynotes when I’m out doing a keynote presentation. Most people who do keynotes do not have any handouts. I always have work. Because I want people, I want to take away any barrier to people implementing what I’m teaching because there’s no point in teaching if people aren’t going to implement it, right?

So that’s what we do. Another lesson, keep your video short and focused. Ours were anywhere from 12 or 15 minutes to about 23 to 25 minutes. I really tried to keep things down to 15 minutes. I couldn’t always do it because the topic was in depth, but if you’re going to use online learning and online course format, keep your video super short and break them ups into small steps, then people can crack them out whenever they need.

You can also include, and we do this in our notes underneath our video. We’ll include how long the video. So it appears when you’re looking at the video so people can plan out their time, this is a 15 minute video. Oh, I have 20 minutes before my next meeting. I can watch this right now.

So we help people navigate through. Another learning is use a platform that helps student track students track their progress and see where they left off. Again, most of today’s learning management systems will do this. That is the positive over the benefit, over just posting videos on your website or in your portal.

If people can’t see in our platform, people can see a progress bar next to each video so they can see what they’ve completed and they can mark things as completed. It helps learners stay on track. Another key learning is help your learners understand how it works. Have a start here section or an introductory section because you cannot assume that everybody has used your platform form before or even has done an online course before.

That’s totally the TR case. So give people a place to an understanding. Give them a how to. Really basic, how does this work? We have these videos that we included. We broke them up into small, short videos.

Couple minutes each, and it’s me speaking directly to camera so I can help my members in the Volunteer Pro membership understand how this all works. Okay? Produce in batches. Creating curriculum means you need to put together the descriptions of the modules. In this case, we created a success path guide that helps our members self-assess and check off what they have done and what they want to get done at their program.

But we also have slide decks. We needed to create speaker notes. We needed to create all of our handouts or source our handouts and find where our handouts were, create the workbooks, create the, the graphics that go along in the workbooks that are posted. We have graphic elements throughout the course or the, the core curriculum, the VO voiceover power.

The videos, the direct to camera videos, so I always recommend people batch these rather than doing one thing at a time, like one lesson at a time and working it all the way through. Do all the slide decks at once, then do all the voiceover PowerPoints at once. Then set up either studio time or get your camera going, get a buddy and use your, your phone’s, video camera and do all of your direct to camera on one day.

I find that it makes a more consistent curriculum because you’re doing now, you can’t always do all of your voice over PowerPoints in a single day, but I try to do them in back-to-back days or as close as I can, so I keep the focus the same tone of voice. The same sort of energy level. I like it to feel consistent with the direct camera VI videos.

I’ll be completely honest, I really hate doing hair and makeup. I do. I hate doing it. When I’m at home, I don’t wear hair and makeup. I’m just me, right? But when I’m on stage and when I’m on camera, I got to put the hair and makeup on that takes time out of my day where I’d rather be doing other things for my business.

If I’m going to do direct to camera, I’m going to get gussied up. I’m going to get myself in the proper mindset to be on, and I book it out and I do all of my recording on one day. I just get it done and it usually doesn’t even take a whole day. It can take half a day and I book time with our video studio and I get in there and I get it done.

And I have fun. I have fun because it’s the only thing I’m working on for that. So batch your stuff, it’s much easier. It’s easier to keep things in order. It’s easier, either, easier to keep a consistent approach. Another, I have three more recommendations I’m going to give you. One is get more than one pair of eyes on things.

In fact, get three if you can. Mistakes happen. Typos. Errors, errors and scripts, errors. If you have video scripts and I, we create, we write up video scripts before I go in the studio and I’m just wing it, all these things. Are many, many little details, and you will find typos up to the very end. You will.

 And we had three different people, both me, Chelsea, and Jamie Gaylor, our marketing manager, came in and pinch, hit, and did some typo looking at typos. So shout out to you, Jamie, as well, for helping us get this over the finish line. Okay, two more I want to offer when you’re developing curriculum for your volunteers, be okay with progress.

Not perfect. You would not believe some of the things I nitpick at, like my videos, this video looks a little grainy. Oh, I don’t like that. Highlight my face. I started to listen to myself and I went, you know what? Let it go. Progress not perfection. You can’t, if you let, if you nitpick yourself, you will first of all not enjoy the process and second of all, not get done.

So at some point you got to be good enough. You got to do good. And then finally, my last piece of advice, find ways to build community. At the end of each video, I review a milestone to complete and encourage my Volunteer Pro membership community members to post their questions, comments, and progress inside our pro talk forum.

So there’s no need to have your lesson be the final end all be. You can include a call to action to your volunteers to go into your private Facebook group, your forum, wherever they can gather your Slack channel, whatever you’re using, and just have them post one aha moment or one idea they had or one question they have.

So keep the learning going or have them post in the comments either way. So that’s my last piece of advice. Find ways to build community outside of the course itself. And if you want more on building a sense of community, you can check out Volunteer Nation episode 27, secrets to Building a Sense of Community with Volunteers.

And I have a few more tricks at my sleeve about how to really strengthen your sense of team. All right, so that is the story behind the scenes of our VolunteerPro membership learning hub launch that just went live today. I’m so proud of all the work my team has done to bring this over the finish line.

It’s been a labor of love. It’s also been a heck of a lot of hard work, but work that we love to do and I cannot wait to hear what our members think about it. And I hope that it helps you think about how you might develop similar training for your volunteers. And I want to mention one other thing. It’s an opportunity that you may not know about.

We are hosting right now, a VolunteerPro membership flash sale and you can get $50 off your annual member chip between now and Friday, March 24th. So if you’re interested in becoming a member, getting access to this fabulous brand new core curriculum, as well as our live monthly training workshops and coaching calls, as well as access to our vibrant community of growth-minded professionals, as well as.

A bonus of Take your Volunteer training online, a step-by-step guide ebook. You’ll also get that bonus if you join. Go ahead and check it out. Go to volpro.net/join. We would love to have you. The VolunteerPro membership is a labor of love. We have had the membership since 2015, as I mentioned before, and every year we, it.

And it gets better and better and better and better. So we would love to see you on the inside. So thanks for joining me today and for listening and learning. I hope you walked away with some tidbits and ideas for maybe revamping or refreshing or maybe. Starting up some online volunteer training, and if you like this episode, please share it with a friend.

That’s how we reach more people. And if you’d like, subscribe and like the podcast, but also post a topic of anything you’d like to see us cover on the pod, we will look at in the comments. We’ll look at these comments and see what we can do. All right, so take care everybody, and we will see you next week.

Same time, same place on the Volunteer Nation. Thanks for listening to this episode of the Volunteer Nation Podcast. If you enjoyed it, please be sure to subscribe, rate, and review so we can reach people like you who want to improve the impact of their good cause. Bring more tips and notes from the show.

Check us out at Tobijohnson.com. We’ll see you next week for another installment of Volunteer Nation.