Today it seems like there are more volunteer openings available than there are volunteers. What concessions are you willing to make as a chamber to recruit them? Is half a loaf better than none at all? What do you do when chamber volunteers are too busy to meet your requirements?
The question came from a member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals group on Facebook. She asked:
We have had an active ambassador group for about three years and it has helped our chamber tremendously. Recently we had a bank request that they share an ambassador position with two people as one person doesn’t have the time to devote to the responsibilities- sort of tag team. With people getting busier and busier, anyone have any experience with this model for an ambassador role?
You have a number of choices when it comes to your chamber volunteers and ambassadors. You can:
Make Concessions and Keep Numbers Up
This idea allows you to meet volunteers in what they’re willing to do and give up out-dated volunteer requirements/minimums. In the question above her bank member wants to split duties.
As long as everything is covered that needs to be, what does it matter if it’s two or three people doing it. Rosie Chambers of the Franklin Chamber of Commerce creates ambassador teams and allows them to cover duties between them as they need to. She said, “We have ambassador teams (3 to a team). We ask for at least one member per team attend events and ribbon cuttings (coordinated by team captains). It’s working well.”
However, some chambers note that this could cause a lack of continuity in the way things are done.
Wait for Mr. and Ms. Perfect
Your other option when it comes to chamber volunteer recruiting is not to settle, and turn down anyone who places stipulations on their volunteer time. If they’re not sure they can meet the obligations, they’re not the person for you.
It might be time when recruiting chamber volunteers to relax the rules a little and create volunteer opportunities that fit every time availability slot. On your chamber volunteers list of openings, give people an idea of how much time it will take, the same way tour brochures tell you this is a two-hour tour. That way people can make informed decisions. Often, members avoid volunteering because they assume the amount of time required is higher than may be the case. Give people the opportunity to select something that fits into their schedule. When you break it down cafeteria style based on time commitment, you may have more willing chamber volunteers.
Interested in this topic?
Here is a free chamber-specific resource for you…