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This page is devoted to the management of volunteer programs in health care settings.

~March 2014~

“It has always been done this way.”

raised hands


“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”
-Peter Drucker

How many of us are stuck in the rut of “it’s always been done this way”?  Just because something hasn’t changed doesn’t mean that it should continue.  I’m not necessarily one to change for the sake of change, but sometimes, it just makes good business sense to look at a process or volunteer opportunity from a fresh perspective.circle with writing that is in article

There is an article on The Mission Driven Volunteer that presents an intriguing situation when faced with waning participation in guilds and auxiliary both within membership but also on boards.

According to the article, the committee model that has run many of these association type organizations is broken.  As this diagram illustrates, there is a never ending circle of frustration in trying to keep boards and committees fresh, vibrant and able to move the mission forward.

Factor in the generational dynamics and it is easy to see that the up and coming folks are not necessarily of the same mindset as those who have kept these organizations afloat.  Although the four primary generations (Silent, Baby Boomers, Gen-X and Millennials) are volunteering in fairly equal participation, the Gen-X and Millennials are much less likely to volunteer professionally by serving on boards and committees.

circle describing different generations

As directors of volunteer services in our organizations, keep in mind the top five drivers to volunteering:

  • It’s important to help others
  • Do something for profession/cause important to me
  • Feel compassion for others
  • Gain new perspectives
  • Explore my own strengths

With this concept, the focus should be on the meaningful opportunities for volunteers and not necessarily spending countless hours on trying to keep the guild/auxiliary structure in place.  Those that strive to change and morph through the years will be the ones that are sustainable.

Big word say motivation

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The author of the Heath Care Volunteer Programs column is Mary Kay Hood MS, Hendricks Regional Health, Danville, IN (317) 745-3556. With a BS degree in biology from Marian College and a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University, Mary Kay has been involved in volunteer management over twenty years with a zoo and in the health care field. During that time, she completed the Management of Volunteer Programs course offered at University of Indianapolis, several supervisory training programs as well as the Indiana Hospital and Health Association’s Management Institute offered by the Executive Education Program, School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University. Mary Kay served on the Nonprofit Training Center of United Way from 1993 to 2006. During that time, she taught many workshops also facilitating speaker arrangements for the Basic Volunteer Management series. Additionally, she has presented at various national and international conferences. Mary Kay served as president of the Central Indiana Association for Volunteer Administration (CIAVA) from 1993-1997 and the Indiana Society of Directors of Volunteer Services (ISDVS) from 2006-2008. She was also the recipient of the 1995 Outstanding Director of Volunteer Services Award and the 2002 United Way of Central Indiana Volunteer of the Year Award. Most recently she served on the Steering Committee for COVAA resulting in the formation of a new national membership organization for those in volunteer management, the Association of Leaders in Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE). With several published articles, she is also author to two books: The One Minute Answer to Volunteer Management Questions and The Volunteer Leader as Change Agent.

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