Friday, May 21, 2010

Being a Flexible Volunteer

Sometimes when you show up at a volunteer event things might seem chaotic. Try to remember that you are volunteering because the organization you are helping is doing something great, and needs extra help to make it happen! Many times you and your group are one of many groups there to help out, this can cause some stress for the volunteer coordinator. Volunteer coordination might not be the person's full time job, they're just doing it to make the event a success, and they themselves might be a volunteer.

To help out, identify one person in your group as the point person to communicate with the volunteer coordinator. When you volunteer with CVN, there will always be a volunteer lead from the monthly or recurring volunteer committee. This person can talk to the volunteer coordinator about what your group should be doing, sign your group in, and get you in the correct place! Having one point of contact will make it easier on the volunteer coordinator. Think of a teacher in a classroom - if all 30 kids are asking questions at once, the teacher is bound to be overwhelmed!

Sometimes organizations end up with more volunteers than they need to make the event run smoothly. Because of this, you might be asked to do something slightly different than you originally signed up for. For example, you might have signed up to work the registration table, and now you're being asked to pass out information pamphlets. If this new task is within your comfort zone, consider giving it a shot. If you are absolutely not comfortable doing this new task, voice your concern to the volunteer coordinator or to the CVN lead.

Whether you passed out fliers, worked registration or did something else, at the end of the day you will have undoubtedly been an integral part to making the event a success. Celebrate yourself and your fellow volunteers!

And as with all things CVN, we would love your feedback. If a particular part of your event went extremely well, or you have suggestions for improvements, don't hesitate to share with your volunteer lead or anyone on the Leadership Team.


Jourdan Clandening
Communications Chair
Community Volunteer Network (CVN)

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