April Meeting Takeaways

Data Speaks Workshop

When Katie Campbell is presenting at a GRAVA meeting, you know you’re going to learn a ton and leave ready to take on the world.

Katie shared the results of two recent national research projects with implications for the field of volunteer engagement. The first (conducted by the Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration) focused on job equity for volunteer engagement professionals and the second (conducted by Verified Volunteers and Volunteer Match) examines volunteer screening trends and how technology will impact our work in the future. You can view the slides here.

Here are some of the members’ takeaways:

  • To test people skills, put recruit with a small group and include some “difficult” people.
  • “Energy and enthusiasm are the tonic that get things done.”
  • VEP’s are highly regarded, but treated differently.
  • Number of skills CEOs think Volunteer Managers need over how they are the first to be let go in a crunch. Volunteer Managers were rated highest in 4 out of 6 skills. “Advocate for your position by framing your impact.”
  • Hiring managers expect a lot from Volunteer Managers without the fiscal compensation.
  • “I love getting access to great websites I wouldn’t find on my own.”
  • “I learned about the “Adverse Action” process.”
  • “Ah-ha! The HR position and the Volunteer Administrator position are closely aligned; there is so much overlap.”
  • It’s great that the intuitive inclination toward structured screening is supported by data and trends! This helps to support the perception of our field as a profession!
  • (4 people commented) The #1 method to retain volunteers through recognition is by giving training and special projects.
  • Volunteer Managers are highly valued, but still the first to be cut at budget time. We are still not advocating well enough for our profession.
  • The acknowledgement from CEOs that there is in fact, a “disconnect”.
  • Use slack (https://slack.com) for volunteers – great data is out there to focus work around! (NOTE: there are other apps like Basecamp that coordinate tasks, texts, communication in one spot)
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