How To Cultivate a Community of Volunteer Leaders

Apr 12, 2023 2:00 PM ET
How to Cultivate a Community of Volunteer Leaders

A few months ago, I was running a client workshop where we were defining new responsibilities for volunteer leaders at the company. After talking for a while about what volunteer leaders could do for “the community” someone piped up and said, “What do we even mean by community, though? Doesn’t that look different for different people?” And I thought that was a beautiful question, because community is complex - it is its own system. CSR practitioners are often focused so heavily on external communities that they can lose touch with the community right in front of them – their volunteer leaders.

Building volunteer leader networks is a core part of what we do at Realized Worth: we help practitioners find, recruit, and equip corporate volunteers to run Transformative social impact experiences for their peers. But our field is also at a point now where almost every company we work with already has a volunteer leader network. So, our work has in many cases become not just building volunteer leader networks but evolving them – improving them. And without a doubt the most common problem we encounter when doing this work is that practitioners aren’t viewing their network of volunteer leaders as a community

So, how can you nurture your network? How do you create and cultivate a community of volunteer leaders? What elements do you, as a practitioner, need to focus on when it comes to your volunteer leader network? Why does it even matter? We break it all down for you...