Values Matter – But Do Associations Get That

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“People are looking for value in their work in addition to profit from it.”
“While association members still expect career benefits from their professional volunteering, they are also interested in volunteering for reasons bigger than themselves.”
The first quote comes from Douglas LaBier, a business psychologist and psychotherapist and director of the Center for Adult Development in Washington, writing in the Washington Post Tuesday Nov. 11 Health Section “You’ve Gotta Think Like Google”.
The second quote comes from The Decision To Volunteer study findings written by Monica Dignam and Beth Grazley.
From two different corners we’re being told that values matter. Are we in the association world talking about values when we talk about getting involved in our associations?
Douglas’ article is an interesting read on several levels (check out the comparison to Google and definition of a psychologically health adult), but the part that struck me was the statement about values and getting alignment. Our members (26,000+ individuals from 23 co-sponsoring associations) that responded in the Volunteer survey noted that they do seek alignment. Values drive volunteer choices both for charitable and professional organizations.
Imagine a campaign for members or volunteers that began with “be part of something big” rather than “5 ways to save money and build your network”. Or if we connected building a stronger local chapter or SIG to building a stronger profession (or trade). Or what if made a more concerted effort to embrace a social responsibility initiative – could that make the value equation stronger?
We’d like to collect your stories on how you are connecting the value to your association … so tell us!

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