Maximizing your Volunteer and Service Experiences


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Most of us understand the value and importance of community involvement, however, how can we maximize our volunteer/service experiences and help to generate a culture of service within our organizations? This presentation will share some of the reasons why we serve, the benefits volunteering/service can provide you and your organization, and studies illustrating the positive impact of volunteering/service for you and your customers.

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Maximizing your Volunteer and Service Experiences

  1. 1. Maximizing Your Volunteer and Service Experiences Presented By Brian Lee Danzinger Assistant Vice President – E-Commerce and Technology, Bank Mutual Group Fitness, Greater Green Bay YMCA Alderman, City of Green Bay Lieutenant, United States Coast Guard Reserve Adjunct Instructor, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Adjunct Instructor, Silver Lake College Adjunct Instructor, Concordia University Board of Directors, Brown County Junior Achievement Board Of Trustees, St. Norbert College
  2. 2. Maximizing Your Volunteer and Service Experiences Rejected Titles: “The Psychology of Community Service” “Volunteering – It Makes Things Better” “Service is not a pyramid scheme” “Iron Man 4”
  3. 3. Volunteering – Kind of a good thing “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” – M. Gandhi - Community - Service - Kindness
  4. 4. Wait a Minute…I already volunteer “Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.
  5. 5. • Why we volunteer • The benefits of volunteering (Both personal and professional) • Making the most of our volunteer experiences • How volunteerism benefits our organizations/companies • Creating a culture of service “Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer”
  6. 6. Why Do We Serve? • To share our skills and talents • To have an change/impact on others • Personal satisfaction of helping others • Because we have been helped in the past • Karma • To make friends • To be part of something greater than yourself • To become more aware of social challenges • Because of a cause or initiative that you feel passionate about • Why not? “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”
  7. 7. Why Do We Serve? (Random Poll) • To set a good example for my kids/family • To meet others with similar interests and passions • To prove to myself that I do make a difference • Because I enjoy it • I met some of my best friends through volunteering, including my wife • Because of the ripple effect that volunteering has “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”
  8. 8. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Personal) • Greater level of life satisfaction A study the National Community Service Agency found that those who volunteered expressed “happier” lives and lower levels of depression versus those who did not volunteer. Tend to be surrounded by more positive people that has a direct impact on mood and attitude “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see”
  9. 9. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Personal) • Increase in longevity A study by the Journal of Psychology and Aging showed that people that volunteered are 25% less likely to develop heart disease, stroke, or high blood pressure. Studies also show that those who volunteer typically demonstrate other healthy lifestyle choices. The NCSA found State volunteer rates are strongly connected with the physical health of the states' population “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”
  10. 10. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Personal) • Reduced levels of Stress A study in the Annual Review of Sociology reported that volunteerism not only improves our ability to manage stress, but to even reduce levels of stress through activities that improve self worth. One study showed an increase in dopamine levels “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does”
  11. 11. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Personal) • Improved Relationships with Others Dr. Brown of Stony Brook University attributed volunteerism and community service to improved social, professional, and family relationships. Improved interpersonal communication and self- confidence “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not”
  12. 12. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Personal) • Other health benefits Studies now are showing positive connections between community service and insomnia (healthier sleeping habits), a stronger immune system (people using less sick days), and better handling of conflict resolution. “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not”
  13. 13. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Better Chance of Finding a Job (Part 1) A recent report by the Wall Street Journal and Deloitte interviewing over 200 HR Executives says that volunteerism makes candidates more appealing to hiring managers More than 80% said they would be more likely to hire a graduate with skilled volunteer experience “Being good is commendable, but only when it is combined with doing good is it useful”
  14. 14. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Better Chance of Finding a Job (Part 2) Those who volunteer are exposed to a larger network of job opportunities, hiring professionals, referral sources, and organizations Employers almost always go with a known quantity or someone they have had experience with “Help one another; there's no time like the present and no present like the time”
  15. 15. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Better Chance of Finding a Job (Part 3) A survey of 200 HR Executives by TimeBank  73% of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one without  94% of employers believe that volunteering can add to skills  94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills had benefited either by getting their first job, improving their salary, or being promoted “Nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”
  16. 16. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Opportunity to use skills Volunteering is an outlet for hidden skills and talents It can also be way to maintain skills and professional abilities that you may not be using in your current work environment. Even application of hobbies and non- traditional expertise (Magic, Photography, Spinning Tunes, Fishing, etc) “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
  17. 17. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Opportunity to explore other skills and interests A chance to do something different than your job Other careers and job paths or supplemental skills like language training, web programming, social media “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”
  18. 18. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • An Opportunity to challenge yourself and take risks Some opportunities give you more latitude and freedom to experiment with projects and ideas Apply ideas and concepts that have never been tried before “You are what you do, not what you say you'll do”
  19. 19. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Expand your leadership and management skills Project Management, Leading a team, or Owning an event or initiative Department of Labor Statistics show that volunteers tend to make better leaders in the work place “People of excellence go the extra mile to do what's right”
  20. 20. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Really, volunteers make better leaders? - Expanded Perspective - Honed influence and people skills/interactive skills - Opportunity to work with diverse teams and levels of talent - How to motivate and inspire others (in situations where they may not be getting paid) - Working with people who have various goals, reasons, and levels of commitment (All from the Department of Labor Statistics) “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others”
  21. 21. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • An outlet for your creativity/use of critical thinking skills Some of the challenges our community face requires intense creative and critical thinking skills Maximize the use of limited resources. Wear multiple hats “The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others”
  22. 22. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Agile Thinking Because timelines, resources, and funding mechanisms are changing on such a regular basis, we become more adaptable to change/change management and project agility “Those who unlock your compassion are those to whom you've been assigned”
  23. 23. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Mentoring of Others Many volunteer organizations rely on their members to help with recruitment, mentoring, growth, and overall volunteer well-being “We are not called upon to do all the good that is possible, but only that which we can do”
  24. 24. Some of the Benefits of Volunteerism (Professional) • Exchange of Ideas You are surrounded by talented people. Trends and tactics The superior "giver" and subordinate "receiver" mentality. Volunteering is not a one-way flow of assistance, but a mutual activity that we ALL learn and benefit from “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”
  25. 25. Maximizing my Volunteer and Service What issues or causes matter most to you? • What kind of connection do you have to the issue or cause? • Why are you picking this organization? • Does the mission and vision of the organization align with your beliefs and values “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give”
  26. 26. Maximizing my Volunteer and Service What level of participation do I wish to commit? • Supporter of the cause • Brand Champion and Awareness • Resource Contributor • Hands on volunteer (Specific or On Going) • Leadership or Management Role “The world is a drought when out of love”
  27. 27. Maximizing my Volunteer and Service What kind of Skills/Talents am I looking to share? • What are the needs of the organization • Start with what you can do • What am I willing to expand to • Soft skills • Are the efforts and workload shared “A sign of a celebrity is often that his name is worth more than his services”
  28. 28. Maximizing my Volunteer and Service Time Management • Is there a mutual understanding of the time commitment • Put in parameters “A sign of a celebrity is often that his name is worth more than his services”
  29. 29. Organizational Benefits • Benefits to the community and environment 3.2 Billion dollars of service in 2012 (Wisconsin Labor Stats) Communities with higher levels of service and volunteerism typically have higher quality workers and better economic indicators “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart”
  30. 30. Organizational Benefits • An investment to the Community To this end, Arketype has developed an 80/20 philosophy when it comes to community investment. Their 80/20 philosophy means roughly 80 percent of their work time is invested in creating design and communication solutions for their clients. The other 20 percent of their time is invested back into the community through non-profit and pro-bono projects. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”
  31. 31. Organizational Benefits • Marketing and Brand Awareness Customers have more positive perception of organizations that are community conscious Exposes you to new potential customers “To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do”
  32. 32. Organizational Benefits • Positive Association People may start associating your organization with a cause or initiative that they are passionate about Can even help with retention (both internal and external) Employees feel better about an organization that supports the community “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”
  33. 33. Organizational Benefits • Employee Benefit More positive work environment “Wunderful” Program at Wundermax Can be viewed as an actual employee benefit with value (supportive of time off for service oriented activities) Learning of skills (Employee share program) “Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others”
  34. 34. Creating a Culture of Service • Who is already involved • What causes or initiatives align with the organization • Does the organization have a unique resource, skill, or staff that can be shared with the community • Are there some immediate needs • Do programs already exist that can be tied into your efforts (a number of agencies and organizations already have the infrastructure and logistics) • Why “Do or do not. There is no try”