From the Chair - August 2017

Engaging Our Volunteers

Relationships are key to all we do -- Program Promotion, Staff Recruitment, Member Engagement, Board Development, Volunteerism, Fund Raising, Advocacy. It’s all the same work. We build relationships and help people connect their personal goals and interests with some aspect of the YMCA.

As an Alliance, we aspire to get our volunteers to the table in statewide work in a meaningful way. It’s a process of educating our volunteers about our work beyond the doors of our local YMCAs, helping them see the bigger picture of the entire Y Movement, and then engaging them in ways that align with their personal goals and interests.

Getting our volunteers to hear about our work outside our walls is the first step. That’s accomplished in any number of ways, from having Sheree visit and share a bit about our work with public policy, or asking KC to give an update on what’s happening with Y-USA beyond the day-to-day. Taking volunteers to General Assembly, NAYDO and other meetings is educational and inspiring.

Another way is to get volunteers to meet and get to know each other. This we might accomplish by convening them in a meaningful way – maybe through our regional neighborhoods initially, and then perhaps at a statewide summit.

The very best Y volunteers are excited about where the Y is going beyond our immediate communities. And, if they see a place where they can make a difference, they can connect us to people and resources that can advance our work.

While our local work is critically important, the Y Movement as a whole is making significant impact across our nation and our world. If we help our volunteers catch that Vision, it will have an impact right here as they see that they are part of something much bigger.