10 Tips for Filling Volunteer Vacancies in BDPA

Guest Blogger: Dalric Webb (BDPA Cincinnati president-elect)

Recently, I took it upon myself to try and “connect the dots” and close the gap between vacancies in our local chapter board of directors and potential volunteers who expressed an interest in working within the chapter framework toward the goals of the organization. The individuals who expressed interest were all identified at our regular monthly program meetings but they could also come from any online community such as Groupsite, Facebook, LinkedIn Network, Pinterest or Twitter.

The guiding principle is simple -- Ask the question (“Would you consider taking a role in the chapter”) and then follow-up with those who answer, ‘Yes’!

Here are some pointers that can help us identify talented volunteer leaders for BDPA at local, regional or national level.  BDPA leaders seeking to fill volunteer vacancies:

  1. Should have a personal and demonstrated desire to serve the organization.
  2. Must have a vision for the future – and be able to articulate it. This vision needs to align with the BDPA purpose.
  3. Should be able to point potential volunteers to a stable location (preferably online) that details the expectations of each role and which roles are vacant.
  4. Must be familiar with each vacancy.
  5. Must be able to listen to the expressed interest of the potential volunteer in order to suggest one or two open vacancies for their consideration (demonstrating that they have listened and heard the potential volunteer).
  6. Must follow-up – this is CRITICAL.
  7. Should expect several rounds of interaction; email exchanges, phone calls or face-to-face meetings to occur before the potential volunteer actually commits to filling a vacancy.
  8. Should stay engaged with the potential volunteer – build a relationship and rapport.
  9. Should follow-up after confirmation of acceptance with a public announcement and publication of the volunteer being appointed or accepting the new leadership role.
  10. Should integrate the new volunteer into all planning and communication sessions (depending on the persons level of interest, this can start prior to actually appointment/acceptance).

This effort has to be personal! People don’t join BDPA for the benefits … they join for the relationship. It starts with the person making ‘the ask’. That leader needs to convey what they feel, believe, and want to build in BDPA with the potential volunteer.

Dalric Webb, president (2014-2015)
BDPA Cincinnati Chapter

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