E-Harmony for Volunteers

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The “trick” to building your volunteer base is matching members to the right job. Making a good match is as much art as science. The trouble is that in associations we haven’t been even practicing the science much less the art. Instead, what we do is list the jobs we need done and then put out a call.

What if we turned the process on its head? What if we applied a little e-harmony/match.com science and art to the process? E-harmony has its 29 Dimensions ® of Compatibility. What if associations did the same?

It seems that I am not alone in wondering this. Rebecca Leaman over at the Wild Apricot blog found a number of very interesting quizzes for volunteers to discover their type and find a good volunteer match. I took most of them and found that they really seemed to zero in on me as a volunteer. I liked best the questions on the Readiness Quiz from workopolis.com though because they made me think about my “readiness” over my type. But, the others really asked me questions about me and pointed me in a direction.

It would be interesting to figure out the questions that bridge these two – that help members really assess if they are ready and also show them that based on their assessment, they can find a place that truly fits.

A couple of years ago, we created a simply Volunteer Self- Assessment  that addresses at least half of the question:

A Volunteer Self-Assessment

The best part about being an [association – insert yours] volunteer is …

The greatest strength I bring to volunteering is …

The most challenging part of being a volunteer anywhere is …

The area of weakness for me in my volunteer role with [association] is …

The skills and abilities I’m successfully using in my [association] volunteer work are  …

I want/need to improve the following skills to make my [association] experience more successful:

 

How do you match your members to volunteer opportunities?

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.