Part of the Please don’t Volunteer – 9 part series
Volunteer Canada Report states that when people offer their services inline with their talents and skill set they are more engaged.
Consider, which talent or skills do you have that would align with the needs of a professional association or community group, and where can you achieve your objectives?
Reduce Volunteer burnout
One of the most significant challenges when managing volunteers is reducing volunteer burnout. It is common and tends to occur at a faster pace when we are doing something that doesn’t align with our purpose, expertise, skills, or objectives.
Professional Contributors, seek opportunities that align with their knowledge, skills, and talents so not only are they advancing a particular initiative, they are experiencing a higher level of satisfaction. When we feel our impact, particularly in an area that we are passionate, our engagement increases.Professional Contributors, seek opportunities that align with their knowledge, skills, and talents so they are experiencing a higher level of satisfaction. #YouMeWeMovement #MyContributionCounts Click To Tweet
As a Volunteer try a new skill
Contributing your expertise is not to suggest, that you can’t also use this opportunity to experiment. Many Professional Contributors still have the desire to learn something new, have a unique experience, or to challenge their skill in an area where the risk isn’t as high as it may be in a paid environment. I would encourage you to test the parameters of your skill in this traditional volunteer environment. Often committees are more tolerant of deviation from previous processes, because the volunteer who set the direction may not have had your expertise.
Boards and community groups rely on the present acting members to execute previous strategies or hone the new way forward. Unlike paid positions, where you are often hired to implement your knowledge and skill for a specific task when you are professionally contributing, you are usually in the position to create that direction and task, allowing for more ownership, and personal accomplishment.
Consider your skills when you contribute
To maximize your experience and impact, consider the following when professionally contributing:
- What knowledge or skills do you have?
- What knowledge or skills would you like to expand?
- Which non-profit, charity, community group, or professional association would benefit from that knowledge or skills?
- And does that group align with your purpose and values?
- Will the organization need the skills you provide?
- And will they allow you the opportunity to use them to execute their mandate?
- Will they allow you to achieve your contribution objective? I.e. You may want to build your client base, and they have a ‘no sales policy.’
I had the opportunity to professionally contribute to an association using my leadership and collaboration skills. Because we were able to engage a multitude of individuals in executing a variety of projects, we moved 35 initiatives forward. We accomplished eight times more than expected. Because we collaborated while staying focused on the vision, we implement initiatives that were 15 years in the making.
What knowledge and skills do you have? Why do some people always seem to be the finance person? There is a reason for that; they have the skill. Not to mention all professional associations and community groups have a fiduciary responsibility, making finance a highly desired skill.
Skills you may possess that could be in high demand:
- Health provider
- Member recruitment
- Member engagement
- Event coordination
- Project management
Make your contributions count. Once you have decided to professionally contribute, perform a self-assessment. Then reach out to a board or community group who could benefit from your skills as a professional contributor.
- What knowledge or skill do I have?
- What knowledge or skill would I like to expand?
- Which non-profit, charity, community group, or professional association would benefit from that knowledge or skill?
Until next time, make your contributions count.
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