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Short on volunteers for your Centre?

Written by National Office on
Post Date: 
Mon, 2010/09/27

Many of us would like to do our little part for the Centre/Society or the hobby in general but where do we find the time??? Or we don't want to feel obligated to commit to a year term (or 2 years!!! or implied... indefinitely if no one else puts their hand up?)... try out the latest I heard while driving to a customer site and listening to Spark on CBC (http://www.cbc.ca/spark/category/episodes/  - select September 10th and scroll down to the article "Micro-volunteering").

At a high level it talks about taking a 'role'/job/position etc and breaking it down into smaller tasks that can be shared with multiple volunteers in smaller time intervals so no one has to do what is thought to be an overwhelming responsibility but instead are only committing to a smaller task which can be completed in a manageable distinct amount of time. My background as a Project Manager we do this type of a breakdown of projects into little tasks "all the time" so it is second nature but for some it may take some trial and learning to get it figured out... help is always available from your other members or drop me a note/question for assistance (chris {dot} weadick {at} gmail {dot} com subject: RASC-Micro-Volunteering)

Micro-volunteering model would permit 3-4-many people to help out during the course of a year vs overwhelming one person all year... or perhaps not filling a position at all and leaving a gap in the offerings to other members or the public. Perhaps a role like "New Member Mentor" where a pool of 3-4 people would generally say they are interested in helping new members in their Centre be welcomed into the group and Society... even at a meeting someone outside of the original 3-4 could offer to assist. Now you have a "New Member Mentoring" offering for your Centre providing a better experience to people coming to your Centre and not feeling left out... but also not mandating that one person in the Centre is responsible to assist all new rascals. Perhaps something like outreach events for the year... someone interested in Light Pollution Abatement... maybe they can organize the "Earth Hour" events in the spring and other members have preferred camping grounds around the province they can split up the 'Park day' planning in the summer. Library admin, finance, secretary, etc these types of roles can all be split up into 3mth segments or in the business world it is standard that at each meeting a new time keeper, note/minute taker (secretary), facilitator, etc be selected so a meeting responsibility is shared year long.

This will enable the Society and local Centres to 'do more with less', enable more outreach, engage more members in activities, prevent burnout of our "established" pool of volunteers/voluntolds, and provide a better environment for all our members and the folks we reach out to.

At the CBC site there is a 15 minute talk track available to listen to the complete interview.