Membership

Daily Buzz: Give All Members a Chance to Volunteer

By / Mar 6, 2020 (Blankstock/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Volunteering shouldn’t require a heavy time commitment. Also: how to successfully navigate change.

Your members are busy, and even if they’d like to help your association by volunteering, it can feel daunting to add another important commitment to their laundry list of tasks.

“But like anything, once volunteering becomes a part of your life, perhaps a biweekly or monthly habit, time magically appears,” says a recent post on the MemberSuite blog. “The challenge is: How do you get members to dip their toes into volunteering?”

Recruiting more volunteers means offering something for everyone—and that includes micro-volunteering opportunities for those who can’t make a larger commitment. Examples of micro-volunteering include welcoming attendees at a registration table, moderating panel discussions, or participating for an hour in a community service project.

To get started, ask staff, directors, and committees to identify any micro-volunteering opportunities in the work they normally do, the MemberSuite team suggests. Then spread the word.

“Keep an updated list of micro-volunteering opportunities on your website or member portal. Include an example or two in each newsletter. Share them in your social media updates too.”

If members’ employers won’t let them volunteer, target the companies. Create a webpage, handout, and email template that shows how employers will benefit from their employees volunteering.

“Volunteering is a motivational experience for employees that will engage them more deeply in their job and their profession/industry,” the team says.

Change Management Tips

Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary as member habits shift and technology evolves. If associations want their change programs to succeed, they’ll need to address resistant staff members.

“People aren’t as resistant to change if they have had the opportunity to feel they have an impact on the direction of the change,” says Diana Glance, manager of education at Protech. “Change at your association doesn’t have to feel impossible.”

To get resistant staff on your side, engage with them. If they’ve seen past initiatives fail, ask them why it happened and how things can be done differently this time. When you involve them, you’re more likely to win them over and build consensus, Glance says.

Other Links of Note

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Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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