Leadership and The Workplace

Nonprofit Spark

Renee McGivern

Nonprofit Spark – Initiating a professional volunteer management program – 04/15/13

This week my guest and I talk about what a professional volunteer manager can do for you. It’s our experience there are still too many non-profits who haven’t seen the light about how a full-time, paid volunteer manager can lighten your load and help you accomplish more. My guest is Mary Beth Harrington, a Texas-based nonprofit consultant who travels the state encouraging nonprofits to collaborate and work smarter not harder by implementing volunteer management programs.

Consider that professional volunteer managers are every bit as valuable as professional fundraising executives! Mary Beth cites examples of how she enlisted volunteers to get work done in every department and how that gave managers and staff more time to take on new and expanded roles. Yes, budgets are tight, but consider that enlisting and managing great volunteers gets you over that hump so you can concentrate on raising more money and providing more direct services.

Before becoming a consultant, Mary Beth was the volunteer manager at the Dallas Public Library where she coordinated 3500 volunteers at 23 locations. She also was Director of Agency Relations for the Volunteer Center of North Texas, and most recently, she was director of community outreach for the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations.

She mentions using the Independent Sector’s value of volunteer time. In 2012, it was $22.14 per hour. Also, check out this January, 2012 show with Susan Ellis of Energize, Inc., Strategic Volunteerism in your Non-Profit. These shows can help you make a great case for a volunteer management position at your non-profit.

I hope the show inspires you to professionalize your volunteer management. Enjoy.