LVW Needs More Hands – Consider Getting More Involved Today
By Alyssa Berthiaume
I am told that getting volunteers is one of the hardest things for nonprofits to achieve. That it is always a select handful that get everything done. This has been true since I initially got involved with the League when I joined in 2011. I have consistently seen 10-12 people do the majority of the League’s work – from marketing to programming to basic administrative tasks – and these have usually been members of the Board. Over the last three years as President, we have had ebbs and flows of general members volunteering here and there for one-off projects or programs. And thank goodness for them; every single thing they took on was something less that Board member had to.
The work of all of these people has been incredibly important and incredibly critical for the success and day-to-day operations of our organization. For such a small-numbered group, we accomplished amazing things during my term even despite everyone’s individual life circumstances.
As an organization of (roughly) 200 members it is disappointing to have only 10-12 committed, reliable, volunteers throughout the entire year and to have these volunteers doing double-time. 95% of the volunteers I have had the pleasure of working with over the years are people who still work full-time, have at least one dependent at home, and usually have one additional commitment to both of these things before even considering the time they put in for LVW. These people give back to LVW because they love it and because in some way LVW gives back to them, and even though they really only have a small sliver of time to give, they somehow manage to give twice that.
If we had more people who could spare an hour or so each week, we would be able to even-out the amount of effort one person makes. Spreading the weight would mean keeping people more fresh, more willing, more satisfied in the giving of their time and energy, and make their lives more balanced. If we had more people willing to share their talents and skills, we would accomplish more, launch LVW further into ‘the now’, and secure it more for the future. If we had more people willing to give of themselves, LVW would give more back to them because the exact people LVW works to provide to would be driving the charge.
There are so many places where folks are needed. We need help in marketing – people to tweet and post our programs; to write press releases and posts for our blog; to proof and edit the newsletter, to put together our e-blasts. We need help in programming – to develop the calendar; solicit speakers; check out event spaces; and take care of planning details. But even if marketing or programming aren’t suited for your skills and interests doesn’t mean you don’t have something to offer or a place where you can help.
LVW needs more hands, more energy, more willing people with just a little extra time to give.
Please, reach out to us and let us know if you can help, if you can become a more active part of our growth and sustainability. We could use you.
Alyssa Berthiaume is now the Immediate Past President for LVW after serving three years in the hot seat. She’s an aspiring writer with a modest list of publications and a MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the Northeast Ohio Masters of Fine Arts Program. Within the drawers of her desk are several drafts of a memoir, one working-draft of a novel she started during 2016 NaNoWriMo, and a lot of children’s picture books. Someday she’ll get published. Meanwhile, she works full-time and lives in Milton with her supportive husband and their spirited and adorable one year-old son; big, loveable and huggable Bernese Mountain dog, Locksley; and her manuscript-warming cat, Nevé.