Volunteering Made Easy

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Office Depot has it right – customers want things to be easy. That goes for busy members as well. We need to make it easy to volunteer. ASAE’s Decision To Volunteer study and countless others tell us volunteers want to easily be able to find the right opportunity, sign up and do it. What’s interesting is that community service volunteering has really taken this to heart and there are countless of new portals that facilitate that. Associations on the other hand still put up barriers like:

  • Working off a “call for volunteers” schedule that gives potential volunteers basically one door to enter.
  • Designing visible volunteer opportunities around traditional governance positions (you know what I mean, committees, chairs, officers …).
  • Requiring long forms that collect all sorts of information that in the end isn’t really used (and to often exists in our databases and files).

What if modeled our efforts after the community service organizations? And what if we pooled like associations together to promote volunteering just as these community service groups do? Here are couple of neat portals I recently found – and notice that they all put “easy” in their title:

Even if you can’t rebuild your portal, reframing the call is a first good step. Check out how The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Young Ophthalmologists framed their call in “Volunteering Made Easy: Three Ways to Use Your Passions and Skills for Good.”

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