Adapting Mission Driven Volunteering for Small Associations

Earlier this month, Elizabeth Weaver Engel MA, CAE (Spark Consulting LLC) and I were excited to participate in the first Wild Apricot Expert Webinar to talk about our favorite topic: Mission-Driven Volunteering. The session was well-attended and there were lots of questions – too many to cover in the hour so we created a blog post to continue the conversation. 

Here’s a link to the post: The Mission-Driven Volunteering: Your Questions Answered.

 Here’s a link to the webinar recording: Mission Driven Volunteering.

Here’s a link to the white paper that started it all: Mission Driven Volunteer.

One of the questions was one I hear alot: do you have any specific tips for implementing [Mission-driven volunteering concepts] in a really small staff association? An all-volunteer association? An association that has a really small pool of members to draw from?

To me it’s about thinking small. And focusing on catching members on their way – that is ask them to help on something they are already participating in. For our monthly events, we started simply by sending an email accompanied by a list of small on-site jobs to all who registered for the event with the message that we needed a few helping hands at the event and since they were already coming could they help. To put together our social media pool, we pinged a few active members on social media and asked them to be part of a pool for six months. Tapping a volunteer coordinator to manage the effort is a great way to relieve staff of the primary duty. 
Finally, the main concept is to focus volunteer activity on mission – so you might want to simply start by having your volunteers rate their experience and tell you what will make it better.

you are starting with a small pool of members, you might want to really focus on ad hoc or task volunteering so you don’t tie up members on
long-term commitments. And look for ways to involve people outside your
membership.  If you are a cultural group for example, there may be
educators or students who aren’t members but could help the association.

Read more on Wild Apricot blog!