As supervisors, we are trained to provide volunteers:
- a sense of being needed and valued
- opportunities for personal growth
- meaningful work
- recognition for work well done
If we adhere to the above mentioned provisions, we, as supervisors, benefit from volunteers who:
- stay with the organization
- become advocates for the work we do
- lend their skills to drive the mission of the organization
- become an extension of staff
There is a frequent phrase heard when volunteers talk about their community engagement – “I personally gain so much more by volunteering than what I feel I give to the organization.” If this is the case, and if this seems to be a predominant outcome of volunteering, then how can we, as volunteer supervisors, and we, as willing volunteers, leverage these experiences even more?
Recently, we have seen skills based volunteering as a great way to encourage positive volunteer experiences for both the organizations and for the volunteers themselves.
At HandsOn Twin Cities, skills based volunteers are a driving force behind our success and programming.
- Internal volunteers work to leverage our technology and program offerings so that what we do at HandsOn is viable for our nonprofit affiliates and community members.
- Many of our nonprofit affiliates are trainers who share their expertise and knowledge base through workshops and Leadershops held at HandsOn offices.
- Skills based volunteers worked with us in November to hold focus groups, and then strategic planning sessions again this winter with board and staff members to define where we need to focus as an organization.
- Dozens of other skills based volunteers engaged in presentations and consultations at our first annual Skills Based Summit held at the Mall of America.
- HandsOn also has a board of directors who challenges us to stay current, flexible, and entrepreneurial in our approach in working with our many constituents.
During National Volunteer Week, we want to recognize our volunteers who inspire the HandsOn Twin Cities staff to strive for excellence in our every endeavor. To all volunteers, thank you for making a commitment to engaging through service. Your contributions are noted, valued, and appreciated.