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The chapter volunteers (that’s a verb!)
2001, January (July 05, 2007)
Contributed by Chris Benz, Region 2 Director-Sponsor
And Mike Boyd, Senior Member, Carolina Chapter

Many an STC newsletter article has focused on volunteerism: Edit the newsletter! Stuff envelopes! Be a board member!

Certainly this is all for a good cause. Without volunteers, most STC chapters would cease to exist. When it comes to volunteering, however, we encourage you to think outside the box, or outside the chapter, in this case. By “the chapter volunteers,” we mean that your chapter becomes a catalyst for getting members involved in volunteer activities beyond STC, to other nonprofit groups, individually or as a group, and thus volunteers as a chapter.

Without volunteers, most STC chapters would cease to exist.
One way your chapter can do this is by gathering information about the professional skills that the membership is able to offer to the outside world, and then publicizing that information to needy organizations. While many members volunteer for non-STC activities on a regular basis, a lot of this work tends to
make little or no use of our professional skills. With your chapter’s help, however, you can more easily share your professional talents.

Here are some examples to get you thinking

  • Most non-profits need help with developing newsletters, news releases, and other print publications. Do you happen to know any good writers, editors, or desktop publishers?
  • Almost all non-profits depend on volunteers, and often need to train those people. Many of us are quite qualified to develop training manuals or personally conduct training.
  • Are you skilled in audiovisual work? One STC member, while on a trip with a church youth group, shot several hundred slides and more than 10 hours of videotape to document the experience for use in both internal and external church communications.
  • Another member, experienced in instructional design, gave a seminar to church school teachers to help them improve their teaching skills.

You receive benefits, too

As with any kind of volunteering, you of course receive some benefits, as does your chapter in some cases:
  • You and your chapter receive recognition and gain new exposure in the community.
  • You gain personal satisfaction by contributing to something that interests you personally, and your chapter gains the opportunity to promote itself to a new audience.
  • You get to work with different content. For example, if you’re volunteering for an animal shelter, you might enjoy the change of focus from, say, telephony programming variables, to how to welcome new shelter residents. A nice change of pace, eh?

The list of benefits goes on, but do remember that the chief goal of volunteering should be plain and simple: It’s about doing the right thing. Let’s all do the right thing by giving back to the communities that have supported our personal and professional successes! End of article.

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