I’m a little late with my blog entry this week. If you’re wondering, it’s because I’ve been writing reports, submitting information for reports, and trying to demonstrate the value in what we do.
I think about volunteer engagement a lot. Maybe that was obvious. So I wonder a lot about the impact of what we’re doing. I wonder, how can we communicate this success to our leadership, our communities, governments, boards, etc? How far does one volunteer’s impact reach?
Don’t get too excited, I’m not sure that I have any of these things figured out, but here’s what I do know: Volunteers are the agents of change. As with staff, fundraising efforts, gifts, boards and other supporters, they fuel our organizations ability to fulfill our mission and purpose. And if they don’t, we’re not engaging them to their full potential.
Can you demonstrate that every volunteer in your organization helps you to fulfill your mission and purpose in the community?
In the new year I’ll be recruiting for a new volunteer position. The person will have a background and skills in graphic design. They will develop diagrams for concepts we teach in our training sessions. If you’ve been to one of my sessions, you know I can’t even draw and this is certainly something that will help you visual learners! Participants (over 200 a year!) will learn how to more effectively engage volunteers in their organizations. The ability of their organization to engage volunteers will increase. Little by little, these organizations will work on carving out their places in the community, fulfilling their missions and purpose and ultimately creating a vibrant Calgary. And a volunteer with graphic design skills has a hand in this.
Demonstrating impact is a little like connecting the dots. They can seem abstract and far apart, but as you begin to weave the pieces together you see the meaning in each step, the story takes shape and when you step back you can see the bigger picture that each contribution makes. If you ask me, that’s pretty profound. Sure makes me feel a lot better about all of this writing!