Chapter Training: Available at the moment of need

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What makes an effective volunteer and chapter leadership development program? One that offers multi-channel, asynchronous, and live delivery of virtual and face-to-face training programs and resources. Or in a simple rule to follow: available at the moment of need. 

Individuals often enter the volunteer chapter role with little knowledge about the organization or what they have signed up for. Over time they may leave and re-enter at different times for different purposes and in different roles depending on their current interest, professional needs, life cycle, etc. A comprehensive system seeks to help them be positioned to succeed in the role they have chosen or for which they have been selected.   

As you build your program, consider two aspects: content and delivery. Let’s start with the content. Content needs to cover three broad areas addressing both chapter leaders and volunteers generally: 

Getting It Done – Planning, Execution & Assessment 
  • What are we trying to do? Why? 
  • How will we get it done?  
  • How will we know we got it done well?
Getting the Help You Need to Get It Done 
  • Who’s doing all the work?  
  • Where can we find help?  
  • How can we be sure they’re doing the right stuff the right way?  
  • How and with whom can we collaborate?
Getting the Word Out 
  • What’s our story?  
  • What channels should we use to get the word out? 
  • How do we optimize our messaging? 
  • How do we segment our audiences? 

Variety is the secret to delivery. A critical key to effective delivery is recognizing that time is the commodity in shortest supply for the volunteer, consequently, the learning modules should be trimmed as tightly as possible and offered in micro-chunks, through a variety of channels, on-line and off-line to allow the volunteer to fit the learning to her schedule (think YouTube & TED Talks) and location (at home, in the office, on the road, wherever!).  

In addition to the 24×7 on-demand availability, the content can also be delivered on a regular schedule in a variety of live formats where participants can pose questions and interact with other volunteers in real-time. For example 

Mariner has helped dozens of associations rethink their volunteer education strategy and the rule we’ve found works every time is begin with the volunteer. Contact us.

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