|30 Minute Volunteer|
The 30 Minute Volunteer – Rethinking Member Engagement!
Kim Karagosian, Senior Director of MarCom, AH
It’s a trend that’s been accelerating - long-term volunteer commitments are harder to come by, replaced by short-term task forces, or “micro-volunteering”. Micro-volunteering, defined as ‘easy, quick, low-commitment actions that benefit a worthy cause’, is emerging as the smart way to expand your volunteer pool and build engagement among your less connected members. Providing these opportunities is attractive to members who find specific project work more appealing than serving on a broader committee, or who want to contribute without making a multi-year commitment.
Breaking the mold after years of classifying volunteer options through the traditional board and committee structure can be a challenge. But it helps to start by identifying where the association has specific needs that when filled, will move the organization forward. Some thoughts to get the ideas flowing include:
Promoting volunteer opportunities
Once you brainstorm the volunteer opportunities, make it easy for your members to find them. Create a page on your association’s website which lists where they can make a difference, with short descriptions and timelines, then publicize this through all your communications channels. Your descriptor could read:
The choice is yours. Volunteer commitments vary depending on the opportunity and you. We currently have three categories of volunteer opportunities:
When promoting the different volunteering opportunities, communicate it in a way that people can understand clearly and concisely. For example, for micro-volunteer opportunities, make it known that 30 minutes, or whatever short duration of their time, will help make a new member feel welcomed at an event, or provide invaluable feedback on a new website initiative you are starting.
Most associations know that there will always be a place for boards and committees; the smart associations will also add micro-volunteer opportunities to tap into the broadest possible volunteer base.