To Love what you do!

Blogger: Jody Weyers, Volunteer and Communcations Director

"Party for Good" Sponsored by Target: One of-a-kind service project and party benefiting Feeding America, Food Bank for NYC and City Harvest completed by the 5,000+ participants at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service.

I just spent the last three days at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in the high-energy city of New York! With over 5,000 people from all over the US, Canada and other countries there to learn how to engage, manage and foster volunteer relationships the high energy was amplified with people who love what they do.

This conference solidified for me that working and engaging volunteers in the community while witnessing the great work they can do is my passion and focus.

My head was swimming with ideas as I sat on the plane back to Green Bay. I stared out the window, reflecting on what I experienced and learned.  I was thinking of the many ways to enhance our volunteer and communications program and how we can improve  the experience volunteers have within our organization?

How many times have you experienced this same feeling when coming back from a big conference or meeting? You are all fired up to implement change and new ideas while feeling this sense of renewed energy to only have it squashed by your first day back dealing with hundreds of e-mails and phone calls.

I don’t want that to happen to me! What am I going to do about it so it doesn’t happen to me this time– I am going to write. I’m writing down my ideas and objectives no matter how grand they may seem. What do I want from our volunteers and constituents? I want your feedback, ideas and I want you to hold me accountable for moving these ideas forward.

My first objective: To go from being a Fortress to being Transparent

By posting this article I am making that first step. Our blog was set up in December of 2008 and it has been very successful, but very one-dimensional with all the stories being generated from the volunteer and communications department.

I attended a session based on the book “The Networked Nonprofit” by Beth Kanter & Allison Fine. The book discusses engaging in conversations with people beyond their walls – lots of conversation – to build relationships that spread their work though the network.

Let’s blur the line between the Red Cross and the audience as the technology allows it because your stories are our stories. The driving force behind the Red Cross is the American People!

I welcome volunteers, staff, board members, clients, donors to write about your Red Cross experience. Share with me and become a guest blogger. I know you ALL have amazing stories to share.

Over the next year, and beyond I will continue to write down my ideas and share them with the world and please provide me your feedback and ideas. I can tell you this, after this conference I am committed to a lifetime of serving as a volunteer manager and keeping the ideas flowing is my commitment to you.

I am one of the lucky ones to say that I am doing exactly what I love!

Thanks for reading!  – jody

3 Responses

  1. Nice work Jody. It’s the same way I feel when I return from some seminars in California. Motivational! Good for you and if you ever need someone to bounce ideas off by all means call me.

    Rob

  2. It was so great to meet you there, Jody!!

    Best,
    Jessica

  3. Thanks for coming to the session and glad you got a lot out of it .. stop by the wiki
    http://networkednonprofit.wikispaces.com

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