What’s a strategic volunteer?

Volunteers as a free labour force

People know what a volunteer is. Generally it’s someone who donates their time to do tasks that need to be done.

A great deal of volunteering is being the labour force or service delivery for a non-profit. Think of the sorters at the food bank, the folks that teach others to read, the people-power that staff events, and the delivery folks that bring meals to the needy. The demand for this kind of labour force is constant.

I certainly can do that, giving 4-8 hours a week to do a task. And I would fulfill many an agency’s dreams as I would give it a full commitment, show up on time, and do this with full energy.

Thinking like a Strategic Volunteer

But instead of having me give you 4-8 hours a week doing a task:

  • I could work with your agency to develop and execute a plan to recruit 100 volunteers that will give 4-8 hour a week.
  • The plan could be operationalized to recruit 100 people annually, with an efficient onboarding process to get them productive quickly.
  • It could also include a focus on volunteer satisfaction to ensure retention of this labour force.
  • There may be a marketing or PR portion of the plan to promote your agency as being top in its class for leveraging volunteers. This may get the attention of volunteers and partners.
  • And with results measured and internal teams acknowledged you add positive moral to your agency.

That is an example of Strategic Volunteering. Finding a core need, applying strategic thinking, operational perspective, teamwork and some innovative thinking to produce a result that sets the organization up for success.

Supersized ideas

In my old life, I used to say I supersized ideas. As a Strategic Volunteer I am waiting to supersize yours.

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