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Engage, Network, and Grow Professionally through Volunteerism

  1. Career Advancement through Volunteering

By taking on volunteer roles within an association, you not only enhance your skill sets but also increase your visibility and recognition within the industry. Volunteering can be a strategic move for career advancement, offering numerous benefits such as the development of leadership skills, industry-specific experience, and a robust professional portfolio. Active volunteers often gain credibility and recognition, which can open doors to new job opportunities, speaking engagements, and other professional advancements

“Volunteering for a professional association provides countless opportunities to expand your network, to learn and grow through collaboration with colleagues, and to augment your resume. Above all, it is personally fulfilling to contribute to your professional community in a meaningful way.” Carolyn Esposito, International Ombuds Association (IOA) Volunteer

  1. Network and Build Connections

Association conferences, social events, networking opportunities, and team-building activities further foster a sense of community, allowing you to build strong relationships and feel a sense of belonging within the organization. Additionally, many associations offer mentor/mentee programs that facilitate networking and career-building opportunities, helping volunteers forge valuable professional relationships early and later in their careers.

“By serving as a volunteer in my industry’s leading professional association, I gain valuable insight from other leaders in similar roles, enjoy working with a group of people who have a clearly defined mission to advance our profession and meet interesting people throughout the country and beyond. It re-energizes me professionally, and serves as a wonderful sounding board!” Amy Mossimo, Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP) Volunteer

“Volunteering with a professional association helps remind me why I enjoy the work I do. When things get challenging, being surrounded by people who know exactly what you’re going through makes me feel like I’m not alone. By volunteering, I learn new skills that are not part of my day-to-day work, and I get to put them into practice. The association benefits from new, different perspectives, which results in a more broad and far-reaching association culture.” Liz Lauersdorf, ADRP Volunteer

  1. Skill Development and Learning 

Volunteering provides numerous opportunities for skill and resume building by allowing you to develop a wide range of abilities through association activities, such as project management, public speaking, event planning, and technical skills relevant to the association’s focus. Training programs and workshops offered to volunteers further enhance these skills. Creating meaningful opportunities by designing volunteer roles that align with your interests and skills ensures greater engagement and satisfaction. Involving volunteers in strategic planning sessions and decision-making processes makes you feel heard and integral to the organization’s success, ultimately enriching their professional development and career prospects.

“Volunteering with ADRP has allowed me to give back to an organization that provided me with the foundations for my career. Through my volunteer work, I’ve expanded my skill set, cultivated my leadership abilities, and grown professionally. For me, the biggest gain has been the network I’ve built within my industry – every connection opens doors to new opportunities, friendships, and personal growth.” Carrie Flood, ADRP Volunteer

  1. Pathways to Association Leadership 

Volunteering can serve as a stepping stone to leadership positions within an association, offering a clear pathway for career progression through involvement in various committees and projects. Many current board members began their journey as committee volunteers, demonstrating the potential for significant advancement. 

Some of the biggest projects that I’ve been able to launch throughout my career have been because of my access to best practices through a professional organization. Volunteering provides you with a network that is invaluable when you have a challenge to solve and helps you feel like you’re not in this work alone. Volunteering can lead to so many things including a chance to shape the organization from a leadership level and to meet some incredible people who may become some of your very close friends.” Colin Daly, ADRP Volunteer

  1. Enhancing the Association’s Mission and Impact 

Volunteers play a pivotal role in enhancing the association’s mission and impact by actively contributing their time, skills, and passion to further the organization’s goals and objectives. Your dedication and efforts directly contribute to the association’s success and its broader impact within the industry. You can take pride in knowing you are making a difference, serving as a powerful motivator and a source of professional fulfillment. 

To maximize volunteers’ contributions, attending provided volunteer orientation programs and leadership development opportunities is crucial. These initiatives help enhance your skills and knowledge, making you more competent and confident in your roles. As a result, volunteers experience higher satisfaction and performance, leading to increased effectiveness in achieving the association’s mission and making a positive difference in the larger industry landscape.

“Volunteerism provides you with opportunities to grow and to expand beyond skillsets that are “traditionally” acquired through coursework and full- or part-time professional experience. You are also continuously challenged and stretched into leadership opportunities. Organizations benefit because volunteers often provide programmatic feedback that may not have otherwise been noticed since volunteers can bring a fresh perspective to processes.” Adrianne DeWeese, ADRP Volunteer

At SBI, we understand the power of volunteerism in fostering professional growth and strengthening associations. If you are an association looking to build stronger relationships with your volunteers, contact our team today!