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Earlier this month, Elizabeth Weaver Engel MA, CAE (Spark Consulting LLC) and I were excited to participate in the first Wild Apricot Expert Webinar to talk about our favorite topic: Mission-Driven Volunteering. The session was well-attended and there
were lots of questions - too many to cover in the hour so we created a blog post to continue the conversation.
There is no easy answer to fixing the volunteer pool but the answer really isn’t complicated either. At issue is that our approach is too often reactive not proactive. We look to fill empty seats instead of building an engaged membership. One way to shift gears is to think of this as building a farm team … a feeder system like we see in sports.
Halloween can happen any day of the year for some volunteers and for a few it maybe be like living through Ground Hog Day. Oh the tricks we play on volunteers ... let's shift to treating!
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.
Then let’s make it meaningful and fun. Down with boring meetings and down with meetings that we don’t leave with more energy than we started.
It’s really human nature to get involved and when we don’t get involved, we don’t have that loyalty or that commitment and so in a membership organization, involvement is going to be the trigger. I have on more than occasion suggested we ban the "V" word as in Volunteer because it causes us (who manage volunteers) and members (who could be volunteers) to be trapped in an old paradigm.
The conversation on volunteerism in association is shifting – in an exciting way. The questions about how to engage non-traditional volunteers and those on how rethink the model from the top down are finally taking center stage. I had an opportunity to keep the conversation going through a webinar with YourMembership.com.
General: Adhocracy, Association Management, Chapter, Community, Component, iVolunteer, Leadership, Membership, Non Profit, Training, Volunteering
How We Help: Build Chapters, Develop Leaders, Engage Volunteers, Grow Member Communities, Manage Associations
Increasingly our volunteer teams are spread across town, across the state, across the country and even over country borders. It's tough enough to lead a group of volunteers, but when you're leading via phone and web, its downright messy.
World number 1 tennis doubles partners and real life twins, Bob and Mike Bryan teamed up to do a cool commercial for Esurance featuring a mobile robot which allowed them to explore NYC without leaving the locker room. The robot, currently available from Double Robotics for an easy $2,499…not including the essential tablet (iPad or similar), lets you cruise about on a virtual Segway, carrying on conversations, snapping photos, consuming hot dogs…oh well, maybe not the hot dogs…=O
Question: We are a XXX organization for XXX and have more than 100 components (we call them chapters) in cities across the country. They are all 501c6 organizations with their own articles, bylaws and D&O insurance. Question of the day: do they also need liability insurance? Most of the larger components have had it; however, the rates tripled this year so they are asking if it is a requirement. Recommendations?
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