March is here already! Seems somewhat hard to believe, but it is a reality. In light of the season, my theme song for this month’s President’s message is “I Feel Lucky” by Mary Chapin Carpenter. It is a great song and who doesn’t want to feel lucky? You all know I am a “glass half full” kind of girl, so to me feeling lucky attracts positive vibes and energy. However when we think about our work with volunteers we have to not only feel lucky, but have definite plans and processes in place to ensure success. As leaders in the field, it is imperative we are equipped and ready to receive, orient, train, engage, coach, recognize and retain our volunteers.
At the March Workshop, Amy Nisenson shared with us ways to effectively navigate volunteer, board and staff relations to avoid sticky situations. Doing this successfully is not a bi-product of luck, but so much more. We have to make sure all three of these roles are clearly defined and consistent processes are created and followed by all the stakeholders. Communication is also key and must be open between volunteers, board and staff. Yes, we will encounter situations where we have to act quickly in order to cause the least harm. Situations like these will not go away by themselves, even if you are the luckiest person on the planet! So plan for them and be ready to have action steps in place when needed. Being proactive goes a long way when confronted with uncomfortable or sticky situations.
Lucky for us, Amy provided a wonderful resource sheet with various books, websites and articles on this very topic of staff, board and volunteer relations. I would ask each of you to take advantage of this resource sheet and further your professional growth in this area. It will be time well spent! I look forward to hearing how all of you are learning, growing and sharing as a result of your involvement with GRAVA. I feel lucky to be on this journey with you!
See you in April!
Melissa M. Gilmore, M Ed., CVA GRAVA President