The Mission Driven Volunteer

Imagine this.

One of your members has a great idea for a new service your association could provide. It’s innovative, exciting, squarely within your mission, and likely to have a significant impact on the future of your profession.

She contacts one of your staff, who walks her through the simple, well documented process of preparing a short proposal that includes resource requests, which she is then able to take directly to your Board at their next monthly call. After a brief presentation and discussion, your Board votes on – and approves – the proposal during the call.

Your staff member then provides the newly appointed task force leader the dossiers of your available ad hoc volunteers, which list their skills, interests, and availability, and helps her post a call for additional volunteers through your various communications channels.

The task force leader selects her team, works the project (with staff administrative support), and in six months, has a business plan for the new service, including a market analysis of the demand and a thumbnail budget, ready for Board consideration. When the Board approves moving ahead, the task force passes the reins to member volunteer subject matter experts who will work with your staff to make your new service a reality.

Does this sound too good to be true? It’s not magic, but it does require a fundamental change in how you think about volunteering. In this whitepaper, we’ll show you how. Download the full white paper at

Co-authors: Peggy Hoffman, CAE and Elizabeth Weaver Engel, CAE, CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting.

What’s Inside:

Problems with the Current Model

  • The Committee Model Is Broken
  • Generations: Good News, Bad News
  • Decision-Making: Slow, Inefficient and Unoriginal
  • Limited Opportunities for Involvement


Mission Driven Volunteering

  • Volunteering Myths Revisited, Volunteering Truths Revealed
  • What is Mission-Driven Volunteering?
  • Embracing the New Philosophy: Adhocracy as a Governance Model
  • Embracing the New Philosophy: Micro-Volunteering


Three Case Studies

  • Maryland Association for CPAs: Our Goal is to be the catalyst, not the hub
  • National Fluid Power Association: I don’t know that most association members view their associations as the engagement opportunity
  • Oncology Nursing Society: It’s All About Engagement