Alzheimer Society of Nova Scotia

YOU, Working with Committees

In committees, Special Events, Volunteers on November 18, 2014 at 3:47 pm

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Working with volunteer committees can be both challenging and rewarding. It is important to value the commitment that these individuals have chosen to give, yet it is also just as important to value the skills that they bring to the table.

I have the opportunity to work with two volunteer committees. At first I was trepidatious to demand anything from my committee members as I felt they were already doing so much by attending meetings and responding to correspondence. After all, these are professional people with busy lives, I don’t want to become a burden.

But my mindset has changed over the past two years, and I have learned a lot about the need to engage committee members. The people who choose to spend their free time on your committee, do so because of a passion they have. This passion needs to be fed by the work they do on your committee. Their work needs to be meaningful and committee members need to feel valued and useful.

Here are few things I have learned about keeping committee members engaged:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This could be as simple as asking someone to make a phone call, or perhaps it is needing help setting up an event.
  2. Assign jobs. If one of your committee members is a marketing professional in their professional life, tap into that. Ask them to be your marketing consultant, and focus their commitment primarily on your marketing campaign. This can lead to more responsibility for the committee member, as they can now report on their work at the meetings. They suddenly become more invested in the campaign success.
  3. Give homework. It is ok to assign action items to committee members. These are usually tasks that need to be completed before the next meeting.
  4. Listen to their input. If you are hosting an event, your committee members also become event participants. Try to see the event from their perspective. I can guarantee YOU that participants have a much different perspective than YOU do as the event planner.
  5. Look at the type of help YOU need from your committee and recruit people that can help. Perhaps YOU need someone who is good with numbers to help YOU with your budget, or perhaps YOU want help with social media planning. Look for individuals with experience or expertise in these areas.

Volunteers, in all capacities, are essential members of our organization. Treating them respectfully, ensuring they feel valued and keeping them inspired should always be a priority.

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