Volunteer Engagement: Making the experience rewarding

AnitaWasiuta2One of our goals at IAP2 Canada is to provide all volunteers with an experience that is meaningful, rewarding, inspiring and educational. In 2016, a roadmap was developed to help us get there, and Anita Wasiuta, a longtime IAP2 member, was hired as the Volunteer Engagement Coordinator (VEC) to implement the new program. We’ve already seen the program’s benefits, with the smooth and reliable support given at the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference last fall in Montréal. Read more about it.

The framework for volunteer engagement is a phased approach and supports IAP2 Canada’s strategic direction. The VEC begins by working with the project leader to develop the workforce planning—to understand the roles, hours, and skills needed for the position. The next step is to attract volunteers and focus on skills, experience, and training for the position. Once the volunteer is in the position, the project lead becomes the main contact until the wrap-up stage, when Anita holds a debriefing with the volunteer.

The process-driven approach empowers volunteers to move from project leaders to project and people leaders, and to further advance their skills while volunteering in a supportive environment.

Since last summer, we have used this process to recruit the on-site volunteers for the 2016 IAP2 North American Conference, the members of the Indigenous Community of Practice committee and the Training Committee members. We are presently working on planning and recruitment for the Communication Committee workforce.

In the next few months, Anita will work with other project leads to create the workforce planning and volunteer recruitment for the Conference 2018 Committee, and will also present the program to the local chapters and IAP2 USA board.

As a volunteer, you help build best practices in public engagement. Watch for upcoming volunteer roles in our newsletter and website. We look forward to working with you!

April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week in Canada. According to Volunteer Canada, 87 percent of Canadians have volunteered for something at some point in their lives, and youth have the highest volunteer rate: 66%.

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