Helping Volunteers in Job Search

March 17, 2011

According to MAVA’s 2010 report on The Status of Minnesota ’s Volunteer Programs In a Shifting Environment, 66% of organizations experiencing increased inquires about volunteering indicated the increase was primarily driven by unemployed people.

Depending on the geographic location of your volunteer program and the type of organization it serves, your percentage of unemployed volunteers seeking job-related benefits from their service might be relatively high or low.  However, it is certain that they are in your program and there are more of them today than there were 2 years ago.

We say that volunteering is a great way to gain new skills, fill-in resume gaps and “get your foot in the door”.  It’s a solid recruitment message, but is your volunteer program delivering on its promise to help volunteers in their job search?  Have your recognition and retention practices evolved to meet the needs of your job-seeking volunteers?

Aleisha’s blog, originally published by Young Nonprofit Professionals Network – Twin Cities, on her person’s experience as a job-seeking volunteer written to an audience of fellow job-seekers. The author, Aleisha Lee, specifically cites the type of benefits she has found meaningful.  If the Aleisha was a volunteer in your program, how could you best recognize her for her service and retain her as a volunteer over time?

Jay Haapala

Volunteer Services Manager, Minnesota Children’s Museum

President, Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration