Members are also volunteering

September 8, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Successful nonprofit managers are aware of the value of volunteers.

Successful nonprofit managers are aware of the value of members.

What many nonprofit managers might not be aware of is the value of members who are also volunteers.

Viewing volunteers and members as separate animals that cannot be crossbred is a mistake that can hurt in terms of providing personal fulfillment and fulfilling organizational mission. Each group can provide a fertile breeding ground for the other.

During the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) Not-for-Profit-Industry Conference, Robert M. Skelton and Karl Ahlrichs said that there are 10 clear reasons why paying members also volunteer, and knowing those reasons can be extremely helpful.

Member satisfaction with the volunteer experience can be ranked as follows:

  • Feeling they are giving back to their profession;
  • Having opportunities to meet, work, socialize with others in their profession;
  • Working with others toward a common goal;
  • Using existing skills;
  • Feeling respected, appreciated and valued;
  • Having opportunities to take a leadership role;
  • Having the ability to make choices about when they volunteer;
  • Connecting with the mission of the organization;
  • Having the ability to make choices about what they do as a volunteer; and,
  • Learning new skills.
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