Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bootleg* Volunteerism

(*bootleg in the urban dictionary sense; e.g. lame or lazy)

Maddie Grant tagged me to answer the question posed by Peggy Hoffman's volunteerism meme: "How can we create volunteer jobs that don’t require being on a committee, a long-term commitment or gobs of time? So, share five short-term, ad-hoc volunteer jobs you’d love to have."

The word that stands out to me in this question is "commitment." I am notoriously bad about commitment...strictly in the volunteer sense, that is! ;) I am horrible at PTA and feel pinned down by the mere thought of having my name on a committee roster. However, like Ben Affleck in He's Just Not That Into You, it's the idea of commitment that freaks me out, not the actual reality if it. **Warning: SPOILER!!** As soon as Jennifer Anniston tells him she's ok with never getting married, he proposes.

Ok, sorry for the point is I love to help and be involved, but I need to know it's ok that sometimes I won't be able to participate and I won't be disappointing anyone if I have to disappear for a while.

Therefore "short-term" and "ad-hoc" are the perfect kind of volunteer jobs for me. Five examples?

  1. Question-answerer. I can tear through vast amounts of information like nobody's business, and love to learn new things. Do I want to organize an entire event or track RSVPs? No. Would I be willing to spend hours gathering information for the organizers? Yes.

  2. WOM information disseminator. I have a big mouth--both online and in real life. Need to spread information about something--plug an event, spread the word about a cause, etc? I will tweet it, blog about it, email my friends about it and ask them to spread the word about it, tell my kids to tell their friends to tell their parents about it, etc. Ask me to pass something on or get the word out about something and I'll glady do it.

  3. Brainstormer. Need to think of a tagline or a a theme? I love to be asked my opinion and offer suggestions.

  4. Blogger. I love to write and am always flattered when someone wants me to guest blog. I'm really excited to have been picked to blog from/about Great Ideas.

  5. Matchmaker. I am a firm believer in it's all about who you know and doing things the easy way. If I can help someone via an inside track of some sort--whether it be hooking a job-hunter up with a potential employer or just helping someone circumvent a ton of red tape to get to a person they need to reach for whatever reason, I'm happy to do it. If I don't personally know someone who can help you, I can at least try to find someone who can facilitate that relationship. An example of this might be volunteering to hook students up with mentors, or steering someone to the right person to find out about an internship, job or scholarship.

Ok, so now I have to tag 5 more bloggers (apologies in advance if you've already been tagged):

  1. Lynn Morton of SNAP fame.

  2. Chris Condayan (he doesn't have a blog, but Twitter is a micro-blog, right? Maybe this will inspire him to start a blog ;)

  3. Kemetia Foley Fellow Mary Washington College student from back in the day, I recently "re-met" her on Facebook and just now discovered her blog.

  4. Penelope Trunk Granted, she is not an association person and also doesn't do memes, but I love her and bet she'd have some great ideas about this. She's already written many posts about volunteering so maybe she'll be inspired to write another.

  5. Cassie Soofi Again, not an association staffer, but she is an ASHA member--and also my sister. Not to mention her blog is called Cute and Evil--best blog name possibly ever.

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