Nancy Erika, Community Relations Specialist, Tacoma Public Utilities who will share information on their long-standing and very successful volunteer program Who is in the room?
Many companies are exploring or diving into skills based volunteerism as a creative way to respond to community needs in a time when writing a check is more difficult. Some are interested because volunteerism offers a way to challenge and develop leadership skills or to deepen employees’ understanding of the community the company serves. Alison We will share some information with you but also do two exercises that will prepare you to make better use of skills based volunteers.
much of traditional volunteering asks volunteers to take a small part of a process and assist the organization by doing that part without knowing the background and context for the work or giving the volunteer a say in what is done and how it is done. Skills based volunteers want to understand the work and have a say in how the work is done.
This is not a website There are many things that websites are good for….contracting highly complex skills into a unique and often resource poor organization via a website is not a strategy for success!
successful engagement of SBV Portals: a connector organization that helps an employer who has volunteers to deploy or an individual who wants to volunteer identify the right volunteering opportunity, often through the use of a website. Brokers: a connector organization that plays an active role in matching the volunteer with a community need, in some cases remaining involved to ensure that the volunteer relationship is working well and the community need is being met.
Volunteer brokers are organizations that identify opportunities for volunteers to serve. Brokers that work with skills based volunteers include:
ESC: Coaching program Prepare/Respond/Serve (PRS) -ESCWA Emergency and Service Continuity Planning (funded by UWKC), Red Cross/NAC training of nonprofits Volunteer Improvement Program (VIP) -Improving volunteer management skills of organizations addressing basic needs (UWKC/ESCWA program model. This program is scheduled to start in November.)
Some of the benefits of SBV: Can extend corporate philanthropy when dollars are tight Helps employees build ties in the community (particularly for employers with higher turnover) Employees are attracted to companies with strong community connections Retention strategy for high value boomer employees Leadership development strategy Low-cost/high return form of professional development Attracts quality employees Increases loyalty & retention of employees Increases corporate visibility & demonstrates your commitment to the community Volunteers are powerful representatives of your company Strategic volunteerism extends other CSR activities at a low cost. Volunteers serve as effective ambassadors for the company Providing opportunities for meaningful volunteerism has can increase loyalty to the company and play a role in retention. In particular: Boomer opportunity - 57% say it's very important that they have work (paid and unpaid) that gives them a sense of purpose keeps them involved with people and helps them improve their communities
Atlantic Philanthropies initiative Funding to community foundations 30 + cities Understand the barriers to successful engagement of boomers Seattle project focused on skills based volunteers We identified 6 major problem areas or barriers We will focus on 4 of them today The first two are well understood by everyone in this room; Funders are providing very little support for volunteerism of any kind, particularly SBV or older adult engagement Volunteer management is underfunded and underdeveloped How many of your have volunteer managers?
Nancy The barriers we will focus on today are…. NFPs do not have a conceptual basis for understanding how to match people with substantive volunteer roles NFPs need to assess their readiness to use SBV and act to increase readiness. Need to learn to “contract” with volunteers NFPs need to tap into volunteer brokers
If these things are not in place the changes of a successful outcome is very low. You will not necessarily know (and the volunteer may not know) that the project was not a success. Erika is going to talk about how the Tacoma Public Utilities Program gathers these ingredients for success and how they structure their program to meet the needs of the utility, the employees and the community.
Erika Most nonprofits report that they do not have the experience or capacity to engage skills based volunteers.
Nancy Lets talk about matchmaking There is no e-harmony for volunteers Yet matching a volunteer – especially a skills-based volunteer - into a role in an organization is every bit as complicated as hiring the right person for a job. And – when we try to fit square pegs in round holes what happens? Attrition Bad PR Lose donors
Nancy We felt we needed to get inside the match process and understand what needs to align for a good match to happen We developed this typology that looks at the two sides of a successful volunteer engagement First the volunteer… The parallel issues exist for the organization What are some of the volunteer values issues that can cause a match to succeed or fail? What are the organizational culture issues that need to be understood and discussed? What are some elements of how the volunteer wants to be engaged that an organization needs to understand? What issues related to the structure and benefits of a volunteer engagement are important to consider?
This must be reinforced throughout the program or npos will attempt to satisfy corporate goals when it does not serve the npo – employee gets caught in the middle in a role that is not a good fit.
Nancy One person plays the role of the volunteer and chooses a volunteer identity One person plays the role of the agency and chooses and agency identity
Nancy Remember to think about all of these factors – do not move too quickly to the work to be done Centers- you need to understand what this volunteer is looking for and what they have to offer Volunteers – you need to determine whether the culture of the organization is a good match for you and if you can provide what they need.
Return to your partner Do not need to deal with timeline
Triple Bottom Line Aligning Corporate Goals, Community Needs, and the Professional Skills of Volunteers Nancy Long Executive Service Corps of Washington Erika Tucci Tacoma Public Utilities
Typology for Matching Volunteer Requirements with Organizational Needs Volunteer Organization Volunteer’s values about who they want to help Focus/mission; staff/board diversity; who is served Volunteer’s values about workplace culture Organizational culture Volunteer’s preferences about using/developing their skills Organizational needs (what needs to be done; what expertise is needed) Volunteer’s preferences about the structure and benefits of a volunteer opportunity Structure and benefits of the volunteer opportunity
Read the description of the project and the profile of the volunteer and attempt to determine if there is a good match
Typology for Matching Volunteer Requirements with Organizational Needs Volunteer Organization Volunteer’s values about who they want to help Focus/mission; staff/board diversity; who is served Volunteer’s values about workplace culture Organizational culture Volunteer’s preferences about using/developing their skills Organizational needs (what needs to be done what expertise is needed) Volunteer’s preferences about the structure and benefits of a volunteer opportunity Structure and benefits of the volunteer opportunity
Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of companies/organizations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources. Include owners and managers who head small business establishments whose duties are primarily managerial.