Thursday, December 31, 2009

SW/WC Volunteer Connections Discusses New Report

The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration (MAVA) shared key findings and implications of its new research report, "A Time to Be Bold: Engaging Volunteers in a Shifting Environment," in Willmar on December 7. Click here for a Dec 8 news story on the Willmar meeting published in the West Central Tribune.

Southwest/West Central Volunteer Connections hosted MAVA project coordinator, Mary Quirk, to hear about and discuss the report. Key highlights included what has changed on the volunteer landscape:

- more competition for volunteer time -- volunteers have less of it, and are looking for meaningful return on their time investment
- volunteer time is particularly tight for the 20 to 40 age groups
- more culturally diverse volunteers
- volunteers in the 50 - 60 age groups are more mobile and in the workforce longer than in the past
- organizations are making use of technology to connect with and train volunteers
- volunteers are looking for the "right spot" - many of the old slots don't fit the interests of new volunteers
- volunteers are less interested in recognition for their time in the form of gifts and trinkets; more interested in experience and education
- volunteer recruitment terminology is changing; for example "volunteer leader" is often less attractive to prospects than alternate terms indicating shared responsibilities

Future posts will share some strategies discussed at the Connections meeting.

Posted by Lois Schmidt, NRS
Willmar Charter

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