Because Together We Can Do More
The Volunteer Center networks with over 80 local agencies to help them meet their volunteer needs. Besides helping them find volunteers, we want to help them best manage their volunteers so the volunteering experience can be great for everybody involved.
Networking is important in any profession. Networking helps people make connections and develop professionally. It’s a good thing when professionals can come together and discuss how to do their jobs better. This is why the Volunteer Center holds Volunteer Management training workshops. This fall we put together a DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) chapter. With having so many volunteer coordinators in Ames, it makes sense to have a professional development group to support each other.
The benefits of having a DOVIA chapter are:
- Promoting volunteerism within the community.
- Promoting professionalism in the field of volunteer management.
- Providing an opportunity for networking among volunteer leaders.
- Keeping volunteer leaders aware of educational opportunities.
Our group meets once a month over lunch to discuss different topics of volunteer management. So far we have discussed how to handle service learning volunteers and volunteer recognition. All of the agencies that attend these meetings have different volunteers and systems of doing things. The common factor is that everybody is eager to learn and they are willing to share their ideas. These meetings also provide a time for agencies to catch up on what everybody is working on and what their volunteer needs are. It’s a great time for us to share our successes and struggles.
We use a blog to introduce meeting topics and keep a record of our discussions so individuals can go back to them for future reference. The blog also acts as a tool to include volunteer leaders who are not able to come to Ames for our meetings.
As this group continues to meet we hope to include more volunteer leaders in our community to strengthen the volunteer field in Story County.