2017-2018 National Chief of Staff/Extension
Remember: Our Members are Volunteers; Get Your Volunteers Excited to Volunteer!
Is your Auxiliary struggling to find volunteers? Many members are busy with family and work commitments and find it challenging to find time to help with Auxiliary activities and events. Our members want to help – we need to make it easier for them to!
- Once your Auxiliary has agreed to a project/activity/event, appoint a chairman or committee. If someone doesn’t sign up, kindly ask someone if they will do it.
- Develop a list of what needs to be done for an activity or event and ask members to sign up for a specific job; some that can be done from home, some that require an errand to be run, supplies to organized, etc. Remember those who can’t be there the day of the event can help, too!
- Once you have determined you have a chairman or committee, allow that individual or individuals to volunteer. Sometimes we may feel even though there is a chairman or committee for a project, we either don’t like the way it’s being done or we still want some control. The best remedy for this situation is, just let the chairman or committee do it! We need more people involved and need new and fresh ideas in our Auxiliaries. Our members have too many options available to them and if they don’t feel needed and appreciated in our organization, there is someone else just waiting to take them in.
- I’ll be the first to admit sometimes it’s hard to not be in control, even though you don’t want the entire responsibility. We’ve all had an opportunity to try something new, some things worked and some things didn’t, but at least you volunteered and were willing to stumble and fall and pick yourself up for the betterment of veterans and their families.
As we begin the descent of the 2017-2018 program year, we cannot lose sight of our membership and the realization that our work is never done. We must not lose sight that our organization is formed by amazing volunteers. Auxiliary opportunities empower volunteers to find their purpose, use their passion and turn it in to meaningful change. National Volunteer Week is April 15-21. How are you planning to recognize your Auxiliary’s volunteers?
The election of Officers will take place at your April meeting. Below are suggestions to solve common problems and get members excited about volunteering. How we respond to some problems and negative attitudes may chase away those valued volunteers.
- The Officers have held the same jobs for years, but they don’t want to take it again.
- They’re tired. Offer to help by taking a chairmanship, or better yet, an office.
- Low attendance at meetings.
- Call and remind members; offer to pick up non-drivers; offer small rewards for attending and bringing a friend.
- Young members aren’t interested.
- Ask what would interest them? Plan an activity with them in mind. Hold family activities.
- People say they don’t know anyone any more.
- Remind them that they made friends before and can still make friends.
- We can’t attract new members.
- Ask people. Don’t wait for them to come to you. With every new member you get, you get a wealth of new ideas.
- Our new members come to a meeting, but don’t return.
- Check how you acted at the meeting. Were you friendly, helpful, and professional? Did you try to involve them in your discussions? Did you ask for their ideas? Did you mentor?
Negative Attitude/Positive Attitude
- We’ve tried that once, and it didn’t work. It never will.
- We tried that once, and it didn’t work, so we’ll have to try it a different way this time.
- We can’t elect him/her to an office. He/She is not smart enough!
- I’d like to mentor you to take an office one day. I believe you can do it!
- Don’t bother learning. I know how to do it. I do it every year. So I’ll just do it again this year.
- I’ll give you my notes from last year and my list of contacts. And if you have questions, just ask and I’ll be there for you. Then we’ll both have the experience. I’d welcome the opportunity to be your mentor!
- I don’t want to be President again, but no one else will take it. So I guess I will have to do it again!
- We all should have the opportunity to learn leadership skills. I am committed to work with our next President, and provide any support he/she needs. I’m willing to be a mentor.
It is a rare and high privilege to be in a position to help people understand the differences that they can make not only in their own lives but in the lives of others by simply giving of themselves. –Helen Boosalis