Psst - it's National Volunteer Week. Yep it started on Sunday, April 10. It runs all week. Not that you'd notice in the association world. But turn to the c3 world and it's a different story. Even the White House took time to notice ... as it fought the budget battle.
So what's up with associations? Don't we get volunteers?
As we flew from Walla Walla into Seattle, the sight of Mt St Helen’s piercing the clouds and seeming to appear alongside the plane was breathtaking. This sight pushed the droning engine sound out-of-mind.
Landing in Seattle, the news awaited. Flights cancelled. As I reached to fill a water bottle, the sign above the fountain said “the talking fountain.” With a twist of the handle, a refreshing bubbling sound emerged coaxing a smile and sigh that melted away the anxiety of waiting.
Those Gen X and Y won’t get involved in our chapter!
There’s a mantra I’ve heard repeated over and over again.
When I spoke to Ben, I was inspired. I think that there are many more Bens – but we have to open ourselves and our chapters to all generations.
Volunteers really don't want us to enable bad behavior on their parts.
Jamie Notter got it best in his latest post "Stop making it worse." At the ASAE Ideas Swap on volunteerism one asked how she possibly not give a reward to the dysfunctional outgoing chair. The group's response "stop making it worse!
Peter and I led an energizing discussion at ASAE's Great Ideas Conference last week and I'm still digesting the good ideas. The session was on embracing the unofficial volunteer leader. Who is this person you say? Well it's the hell-raiser and the quiet saint. It's the person who is doing work for the profession and maybe even the association -- but unofficially. By ignoring these folks, you could miss out on some good work or inadvertently fuel a disruptive force. Here are two examples we talked about where associations embraced the unofficial leader.
Peggy’s post about thanking volunteers makes a valid point. I have another story, and although not about a volunteer, it’s emphasizes the importance of a sincere thank you. My son works at a local Giant Food store. Last week, his grocery manager came to him and a co-worker thanking them both for their hard work and dedication to the job. He then gave them a $50 Giant gift card, which he had purchased, to split.
It's not how much you spend on recognizing me that counts.
Conducting a series of focus groups with volunteer leaders, I heard loud and clear they were being asked to do more and more, and were recognized less and less. Later, a staff member approached one of the volunteers who had been in a early focus group and praised the person. The next day, that volunteer mentioned in a group that perhaps they had misspoken as they were a-glow from the thanks. You see, it's really the personal thanks that counts!
Yes, younger professionals volunteer - if you have room for them!
I criss-crossed the US over the past 12 months meeting with volunteer leaders of chapters, divisions, SIGs and all types of components. Most common complaint/question - why don't younger pros volunteer / what can we do to get younger pros, we've tried everything!? Well, maybe not everything if you don't have them engaged. Want a suggestion - let your young execs take "it" over ala
We head into 2011 by talking with Dina Wasmer, president of Incite Creative, Inc. (a marketing and graphic design firm), who divides her time between professional and philanthropic volunteerism, lending her expertise to organizations such as Network 2000, Tuesday Girls, and The Children’s Guild. Dina sees volunteering as an opportunity for professional and personal relationship building, wahich in turn benefits her clients and her community.
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