Here at Volunteer Maryland, we are in the midst of receiving applications from potential partners for the coming year. Each year, Volunteer Maryland partners with about 30 organizations, each one unique in what it does and how it operates. Going to meet next year’s partners has been exciting and inspiring for me.
What I’m learning is that nonprofits evolve into a role, and the pieces of the nonprofit grow organically with it. If one division of the organization discovers a need for volunteers, maybe it will start recruiting. And then maybe another staff person may have started recruiting from their own network to fill a different volunteer role. Now, as they move forward, they need to bring all of that together and figure out key items such as which staff member do volunteers report to? What is the written description of the volunteer role? And who’s tracking how many volunteers there are and how many hours they give?
As the organization grows in size, the methods that may have served it once now are no longer enough. The staff may have an intuitive sense of what is working or not working for their organization, but they may have not had a chance to check in with staff members, the volunteers, and the community they serve to really assess that all needs are being met.
Volunteer Maryland fits in here as a means to take a step back, review the entire situation, and look at what changes might make the volunteer aspect of your program thrive. And the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator comes in providing new eyes to the problem, often providing extra manpower, that can provide new and novel solutions. Whether our partners are responding to a new or shifting need, or are improving on what is already in place, they do so to better engage and serve their community.
Spring is a time of renewal for the world around us, and it can be a time of new beginnings for your organization too. If you are thinking about partnering with Volunteer Maryland, do not hesitate to be in touch. You can even join us on May 9 for a lunch & learn and have any questions answered. It’s a relationship that can benefit both you and your community for years to come.