1 Way To Change the Volunteer Model

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I spoke with KiKi L’Italien about association volunteer models for Aptify’s Association Mavens Series. She asked the question “what can a volunteer in the system do to change the system?” The answer: plenty.

Associations continue to struggle with shifting the volunteer model to address a myriad of issues including being inclusive across generations and responsive to time and resources issues. The volunteers in the system may be the push needed to get associations to think differently. Consider the committee chair who decides not to have a committee but rather gathers a pool of individuals to do different tasks as needed. The classic is the chapter communications team where the chair found people with different interests – someone who tweets, another who does a lot in LinkedIn, someone active in Facebook, a writer, a photographer, a curator. Each is activated as needed.

Yes, this chair still needs to build a camaraderie among the pool but that doesn’t mean committee meetings or even terms/appointments/elections.
I love KiKi’s recap on the idea:

“It’s a challenge to all of us who are volunteers to look at things more creatively and see we have a say in the way we can volunteer and in the way we run these things.”

The podcast runs about 30 minutes; here’s a quick breakdown in case you’re short on time:

1:25-4:25 Why change our model (the what’s broken & how change fixes that)

5:17-9:20 Generational differences & the impact on committee model

9:27-13:30 A look at Microvolunteering

17:12-20:30 Changing from the bottom

21:32-23:53 2 Takeways for Association Exec from the Mission Driven Volunteering Whitepaper

What do you see as an opportunity to change?

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