Engaging Volunteers in Technical Roles

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Event Details

Nonprofits rely on volunteers to perform many functions to support the mission. However, IT is hard for paid staff to delegate to unpaid staff. They feel that the security of the data and reliability of the machines require a loyalty and focus that only paid staff can bring. This session will explore the pros and cons of a volunteer workforce supporting technology. The key to a successful volunteer integration comes from recognizing that the skill set to manage technology is vastly different from the skill set to manage people and that few hard-core technologists have both skill sets. We will use examples of how the Red Cross Disaster Services use volunteers to deploy technology during a disaster.

In this webinar, participants will learn

  • How to train IT leadership on how to manage volunteers and plan what will be done before the volunteers come knocking.
  • How to vet volunteers the same as paid staff
  • How to empower (and contain) the volunteer with job descriptions, responsibilities and accountability.

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About the Presenter

Keith Robertory

As the Disaster Services Technology Manager for the American Red Cross, Keith Robertory oversees all the technology that the Red Cross deploys to support disaster relief operations in the United States. His team supervises the hundreds of volunteers deployed each year with the specific tasks of setting up the infrastructure the Red Cross needs to provide relief to victims of disasters. It includes all the hardware, such as satellite earth stations, communication response trucks, servers, laptops, cell phones, IP phones, satellite phones, two-way radios, and everything needed to connect it all together.

Mr. Robertory has been with the Red Cross in a number of positions since 1997, and has been in the technology industry since the mid-80s. He serves as an Adjunct Professor with the George Washington University, Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management.

Event Materials