Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Keeping Your Volunteer Program Current in Today's World

  • 15 years ago (if you are old enough to have even cared) you probably didn’t imagine banking online.
  • 10 years ago you probably didn’t imagine keeping up to date with your friends and family on a website such as Facebook.
  • 5 years ago you probably didn’t imagine that anyone could easily post a video online for anyone else to see and for some to become famous almost overnight because of it.
  • 2 years ago you probably didn’t imagine that a large portion of the world would care what you were doing or thinking at this moment in 140 characters via Twitter.
Somewhere in this timeline some people began to wonder what the possibilities might be if volunteers were able to access their own volunteer information and information about an organization’s volunteer needs. Out of this online volunteer management software was born. This story (you will need to scroll down to the section on The Extraordinaries) makes me think that we have only begun to see the tip of the iceberg related to how innovative management practices and technology can unleash enormous volunteer effort that are, to society’s detriment, currently held back by those afraid to step forward.
What can you do? Go off into a nearby park (or however you can create a creative state of mind) and ask yourself, “If there were no rules I needed to play by and if there were no boundaries I needed to worry about, what great things could my volunteers accomplish for my organization?”. You might need to reel your ideas in a little due to any number of constraints but…
  • 1 year ago could you have imagined how episodic volunteers from almost anywhere around the world would be able to help families get through the struggle of learning about the fate of loved ones in the midst of a huge disaster? (The story linked above.)
Everyone recognizes that the world around is changing at a rapid pace; technologically, socially, financially and more. Is your volunteer program keeping pace? Take some time to imagine the possibilities and have the courage to give them a try. Who knows? Bloggers in the volunteer sector might be writing about your great idea some day. And the whole sector will be better of for it.

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