Develop and employ evaluation and learning approaches to gain visibility on and adapt efforts for systems change and social innovation.
In this assignment, we were asked to evaluate the current volunteer process at our place of work and develop an action plan to improve community engagement and increase organizational efficiency.
The paper was intended to accomplish the following:
This proposal will explore the volunteer needs of Mosaic in Arizona’s administrative team and support programs in order to offer a strategic framework for recruiting and managing volunteers who will engage in meaningful activities that create value for both the volunteer workforce and the organization. The context of the plan, comprising the goal, vision and timeline for the program, is presented, followed by an exploration of agency needs, the development of volunteer roles, how to best provide training, support, motivation and recognition to volunteers, best practices for reporting success and a conclusion, including how the strategy might benefit other Mosaic agencies throughout the country.
Mosaic in Arizona is part of a larger international organization but operates with some sense of autonomy because the agency serves a local need. By looking to engage the broader community through volunteerism, there is an increased likelihood for change to occur for the volunteer, the agency, and the people being served by the organization.
The suggested volunteer recruitment and management strategy consisted of five main objectives comprised of recommended actions, with the aim of creating an engaged volunteer workforce and a collaborative environment, where volunteerism is not only meaningful for volunteers but for the agency and larger community. The successful implementation of this strategy is important not only for Mosaic in Arizona and their volunteers, but also beneficial for the future, because the strategies that worked in this situation can be used in the creation of a blueprint for all Mosaic agencies across the country interested in creating a dynamic volunteer workforce—making this strategy part of a larger framework for social change within the disability community and the non-profit care industry.
Developing this plan became the a part of my larger understanding of systems change and social innovation — rather than focusing on traditional operations plans — this was an opportunity to think about all of the various needs of an organization and how to approach those needs with a different perspective.
Change in Professional Work
Despite managing a volunteer board, I had never given much thought to creating a formalized volunteer plan. Nor did I believe that it was possible to create a volunteer program that could impact an organization positively and consistently. As a result of this project, I revamped the way I managed my volunteer board by assigning each one of them a job, for which I created descriptions, amended their responsibilities and created individualized engagement opportunities for them to see our mission in action. As a result, they took ownership of their role and we were able to raise more money than we had in previous years.
Change in Relationships
Mastery of this learning objective has made me a better teammate and a better fundraiser. I’m more confident in my abilities to create systemic change and have become a better listener and partner in my work.
Change in Self
I’ve learned creating social innovation or leading change initiatives requires that you sometimes think outside of the box. This assignment, in addition to our other coursework, has really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I got to see that a large part of an organization’s success depends on thoughtfully engaging people to help in your work. I’m much more likely to ask someone unexpected for help in accomplishing a project. I feel more confident in my ability to create comprehensive plans that help assess and evaluate operational systems.