Power-Up Your Chapter’s Succession Planning

Recycling leaders. Empty positions. Tired leaders. So how can we at the national level help solve this problem so common at the local level? Help local groups think differently. Coach your chapters on how to attract the new volunteer. And then take one more step and actively help them.

(1) Embrace new volunteer model and shift requirements for traditional structure.

Help your chapters in 3 ways:

  • Use teams vs. committees – its partially semantics (committee feels like a long-term, time-consuming commitment while team says fun). It’s also scaling the role to what it really takes to get the job done.
  • Embrace micro- volunteering — Identify ways people can contribute in a more ad hoc manner. And very importantly recognize the volunteers who serve in this way.
  • Acknowledge and reward chapters who recruit and recognize ad hoc and micro-volunteers. In your chapter reports, do you ask how many members are doing some type of ad hoc or micro-volunteering? Do you ask how many micro-volunteering opportunities chapters offer?
(2) Launch a new process for recruiting new volunteers.

Help your chapters focus on the person not the position in these 3 ways.

(3) Coach leaders to engage volunteers.

One of the low-hanging fruit changes is helping volunteer leaders know how to create dynamic board/committee/volunteer meetings. One simple idea is mixing up meeting venues. Hold them at places people want to visit. For example, Maryland Recycling Network held a board meeting at a Coca Cola plant because they wanted to go behind the scenes and see their recycling operations.

(4) Low-hanging fruit:  8 actions you can take right away!
  • Be an active partner in recruiting members to serve on our local boards
  • Ask a national board or committee member completing their term, to consider serving at the local level
  • Keep a list of local/state volunteer opportunities to refer to members
  • Consider adding local volunteer service to your CE requirements
  • Ask your national leaders to recruit colleagues in their organizations to sit on local boards
  • Make it easy for members to invite others to volunteer
  • Make a personal introduction for a current chapter leader to a future leader
  • Take care in recruiting for national positions so you don’t drain the local talent


Listen into the full webinar Powering Up Your Chapter Leaders Succession Planning.