Guest Author!

Better Connection with your Volunteers: Katherine Bruces story of how she created a closer connection to her volunteers

Campfire is not just passionate about providing the best volunteering management software possible – we also love discussing and sharing ideas/solutions around the entire concept of ‘volunteering’ and how we can learn from each other to better support our community.  

A central topic of discussion we constantly find ourselves having with volunteering organisations is around – Volunteer Engagement and Connection 

We all love our volunteers and want to make them feel like part of the family (because they are!) but when our organisations begin to grow, their volunteers start scaling with their operations, so making a genuine connection and keeping everyone engaged can become difficult over time…  

Recently, we were lucky enough to chat with the amazing Katherine Bruce from the Jewish Museum of Australia, who is incredibly passionate about volunteers and volunteer management. Katherine has created and carried out some great ideas in her career around Volunteer connection/ engagement, and has been kind enough to share one that she found to be particularly helpful. Check out her experience:   

 

What was the event that you did?  

I took 35 of my volunteers as well as one other staff member and a board member to Ballarat by bus for an educational day trip.  

Why did you do it?  

While the Museum does not do Christmas events (obviously!) I wanted to celebrate their hard work for the International Day of Volunteering on December 5 (the weather is usually better than for National Volunteers Week in May – which we arranged another thing for that – I’ll share later). Not all volunteers chose to attend, and sadly we had to turn down those who might have struggled physically on the uneven ground of one of the locations.  

What happened during the event?  

Volunteers met up at the Museum in the morning and went together by coach to Ballarat. We went first to the Gold Museum for morning tea and a short tour before spending the rest of the morning at Sovereign Hill and having lunch there. After lunch and some free time, we went to the Ballarat Synagogue to hear from the President of the Synagogue about the history of the community in that area.  

 What was the feedback?  

The feedback was hugely positive! The volunteers stated that they had not had similar events organised previously and they were already looking forward to this year’s events. They have also helped to spread the excitement among those who did not attend so I hope we will have more coming this December, assuming we are able to do such a thing.  

What was the outcome? (i.e. were people now more engaged with the museum? did they bring more volunteers? Etc.) 

Those volunteers who attended reported their enthusiasm about the Museum and its associated activities, and several referred friends to me to become new volunteers. In addition, as I developed strong links with the staff at Sovereign Hill/Gold Museum that helped my professional development.

The team here at Campfire think this is a great idea, and commend Katherine and her team for the passion they have for their cause and their volunteers.  

If you have an idea/story/lesson about working with your volunteers you would like to share, please feel free to submit yours in the link below. Sends us your ideas for the Volunteering Community through this form here. Or reach out to us at info@campfireapp.org 

Thanks for reading!