"Volunteerism is like a living organism. It grows, declines and changes in response to the stimuli surrounding it."
Mary Merrill’s quote reminds us that the volunteer of yesterday is different than the one of today who will be different in the future. Indeed it’s a new volunteer. ASAE’s Decision To Volunteer study helped paint a picture of our current volunteer and it points to major shifts coming our way. To be successful in engaging members as volunteers, we have to match our volunteer programs to our volunteers’ aspirations and interests.
At the top on our volunteer’s list is a desire to be connected to a project or task that is meaningful and will make a difference. The list also includes a volunteer opportunity that "makes good use of my time," "matches my skills and experience," and "fits into my life." The last point is driving a shift from traditional committee volunteering to episodic or ad-hoc volunteering.
In associations, this translates into fewer standing committees, more decentralized volunteer activity and year-round volunteer recruitment.
We help associations evaluate their volunteer programs, build strategic volunteer management programs, and reshape their governance to meet the needs of the new volunteer. We also offer volunteer training to help your volunteer leaders sharpen their skills for leading volunteers.