Sunday, January 27, 2013

Opportunities to serve or how not to sit on a database

Want your volunteers to be there when you really need them (disasters)? 

Then find ways to engage them today. I often repeat, "Volunteers don't join an organization to sit in a database".  Yet that is one of the most common complaints I here from volunteers. "I did all this training, paperwork and now what..."

So again I don't have all the answers, but you might.
I began by looking at my organizations mission and seeing what wasn't getting done, or who needed help. And low and behold there was work for my volunteers to do.  
  • Our volunteers currently hold medical clinics for the homeless once per month in two separate locations.
  • Our volunteers (Hams) are currently working on identifying rally locations in our county that have good communications paths.  It will be a place we roll out to all of our volunteers (400+) this summer and test.  After we have proven the viability we will offer this site to our employee network.
  • We support Red Cross shelters during times of need (Nurses & EMTs).
  • We have used support volunteers to help us repackage some critical supplies in our warehouse.

All of this takes time and project management , yes and weekends on my part. But I believe in my program and my volunteers and they want to be useful now, they want to do now, so I continue to look for opportunities to put them to work.

After all that's why they joined, not to sit on a database !


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