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.
- The New NomCom. Shift from succession planning to talent development. What we’re trying to accomplish here is a vibrant community that works together. Shift from “nominating committee” to “talent council.” Shift from “nominating committee chair” to “chief talent scout.” Recruit a team of scouts who connect people with all the different ways, big and small, they can get involved. Read more Fixing the Volunteer Pool: The Talent Scout.
- Set up portals. Here is where you can really help. Take a look at a couple of examples:
- A page on the ISACA website says, “Meet Your Neighbors. Volunteer at Your Local Chapter” and explains why and how.
- Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants invites members to get involved today by volunteering for one of your chapter’s committees or signing up for a chapter project.
- The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society emphasizes volunteering of all types on their website. In fact, they display a visual showing a continuum of volunteering, give members the opportunity to complete a volunteer profile and provide a list of volunteer opportunities, many of which are micro-volunteering.
- Include metrics for your chapters. Not do they have a succession plan, but how robust is their volunteer community? Instead of a plan, do they have a portal?
(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.