Among Mariner's unifying principals is a dedication to volunteering and to volunteers. In fact our basic business model is designed around the goal of supporting volunteers in their roles as chapter and community leaders. As part of our dedication, we host the Association Volunteers Facebook page and collect the stories of association volunteers in an effort to share their dedication and spread the word.
So, I was very excited to read Association Now's interview with Maggie Elgin, Ph.D., director of the Nonprofit and Association Management Program at the University of Maryland University College who until recently has held exectuive posts for several large associations (think National Association of Home Builders, American Bankers Association, among others). Elgin made the connection between leadership and volunteering. When asked what kind of experience association professionals should seek to be leaders, she pointed to volunteering.
She notes that volunteering has helped her have a greater appreciation for how critical volunteers are to associations and nonprofits, and helped hone her sensitivity to the needs of members and volunteers including the younger generation. I read that to say that it is through volunteering that one can cultivate the soft skills of leadership.
Having you volunteered recently?