Membership

Friday Buzz: Exploring New Communities Through Volunteering

By / Oct 10, 2014 (Ingram Publishing/ThinkStock)

A frequent volunteer moves to a new part of the country and underscores the importance of accommodation for nonprofits. Plus: Predictions on 2015’s tech trends.

Recent graduate Dylan Manderlink was involved with nonprofits and volunteering throughout her time at Emerson College in Boston. But when her work with Teach for America took her to rural Arkansas, she worried that she would become a fish out of water.

“At first, it was challenging to remove my urban lens when looking for nonprofit opportunities. Coming from a city, I had never partnered with organizations from rural communities, nor had I connected with professionals whose nonprofits weren’t based in or focused on a specific urban area,” Manderlink writes in a blog post for Volunteer Match.

But instead of being mired in an awkward transition, what she found was a warm welcome in her new home. By putting herself into the nonprofit space, Manderlink discovered just how accommodating it can be for volunteers, regardless of where they’re from or how new they may be.

“I would prompt nonprofits around the country to focus on volunteer outreach to those community members who are brand new and may be feeling a little out of place,” she concludes. “The compassion of nonprofit professionals can bridge the gap from unfamiliar to at home for a new community member in such a unique, meaningful, and passionate way.”

But when you look to your own organization, Manderlink’s story prompts the question: Just how accommodating to new members or volunteers are you?

Infographic of the Day

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Can you believe it’s already October? 2014 is soon coming to a close, and to prepare for the upcoming year, Gartner presented its vision for the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2015 during its Symposium/ITxpo 2014 in Orlando, which ended Thursday. For more details on Gartner’s predictions, read CMSWire reporter Lori Alcala’s post.

Other Good Reads

Look back on the past week and think about how much time you spent in meetings or discussions. It adds up to a big chunk of your time, right? That’s why workshop and conference pro Jeffrey Cufaude asks a crucial question in his latest blog post: “How much time do you and your colleagues spend on getting better at those discussions, working on making better decisions, becoming more efficient and effective in your work with each other?”

It’s not technically a read, but at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, association diversity and inclusion practitioner Constance Thompson, CCDP, will host a webinar highlighting 10 tips on how to improve your diversity and inclusion efforts. You can still sign up to listen via Peach New Media.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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