Volunteers have always been extended workforce for chambers of commerce. Their positions range from governance and adhoc committees to ambassador programs and membership campaigns. Formal processes and procedures must be in place to manage these groups. Volunteers often play an important role in the organization’s strategic plan, financial health, and policy direction. Volunteer management includes recruitment, training, and succession planning.
General Resources for Volunteer Management:
Sample Volunteer Job Descriptions and Committee Guidelines
- See all chamber examples of Volunteer Management in ACCE's Samples Library.
- Austin Chamber Volunteer Opportunities - This form lists volunteer opportunities for the Greater Austin's councils, committees, policy groups, and task force groups in their key focus areas.
- Committee Guidelines of the Billings Chamber - Working with the Chamber's professional staff, volunteers help facilitate the programs and services that enhance the success of members and the greater business community. This set of Guidelines provide committee members with clear descriptions about expectations, duties, and responsibilities, for Committee Chairs, Committee Members, Staff Members, Chamber Board Liaisons. Guidelines provide Attendance Policy and Quorums, FAQs, and job descriptions for the committees.
- Committees Handbook - Bonita Springs Chamber explains the different committees of the board; the roles of the committee members, board members, and staff members; FAQs about committee involvement; qualities and responsibilities of a committee chairperson; as well as tips for planning activities and running a good meeting.
- Committee Handbook of the Champaign County Chamber - Handbook is provided to every committee member at the Champaign County Chamber. The Handbook covers: role definitions (board members, committee members, staff members, chairpersons), qualities and duties of a Chairperson, and other responsibilities and actions of the volunteer committees. Includes signed contract form at end.
- Des Moines (IA) Downtown Chamber's Volunteer Tools:
- Helena Area Chamber's Policies For Committees - Outlines the policies for the committees' work based on the chamber's annual program of work and strategic plans.
- Longview Chamber of Commerce's Volunteer Job Descriptions for Councils and Committees:
- Committee Guidelines - Michigan West Coast Chamber defines various committee roles involving volunteers and staff and answers frequently asked questions about committee involvement.
- Committee Orientation Overview - Example from Outer Banks Chamber explains various aspects of chamber committee involvement, as well as the roles of committee members and chairpersons.
- Raleigh Chamber Volunteer Opportunities - The Greater Raleigh Chamber establishes a variety of committees and task forces to accomplish its business plan. Web page includes a Volunteer Sign-Up Form example.
- Rapid City Chamber Committee Chairperson Job Description - Job description for a volunteer Committee Chairperson outlines the function and duties to serve the chamber.
Tips for Motivating Volunteers
- Can volunteering help your career? - article by Jack Craver, BenefitsPro, highlights the proof that volunteering does a person good (November 2015).
- When a Volunteer Tells You “No” - article by Shari Ilsen of Volunteer Match (Sept. 13, 2013). Addresses the “big ask” and what to do with the dreaded "No" response.
- The Role of Board and Staff Liaisons to Committees - Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center (Spring 2011)
- Volunteer management articles from The Registration System (TRS):
- Here I Go Again - Find what drives your volunteers to keep bringing them back, then check out the top ten ways to kill their motivation to make sure you aren’t driving them off. (Spring 2013)
- Tips From the Volunteer Managing Trenches - After years in the volunteer management battlefield, one expert has emerged with tips, tricks, and hard-learned lessons from both her own experience and others’. (Spring 2011)
- Best Practices I: Volunteer Management Assessment - Can you ensure that your volunteer program is properly positioned to support your event while developing superhuman volunteers? You can! (2010)
- Best Practices II: Crossing Generations - Take a moment to consider the expectations, values and strengths across the volunteer spectrum, from the Silent Generation to the Millennials. (2010)
- Best Practices III: Communication Chaos - As communication becomes more dynamic and engaging, are you using all of your resources effectively? (2010)
- The Chamber Wants YOU! - by Cathi Hight, Chamber Executive article from February 2005. Explores the variety of reasons that members serve as volunteers, and presents ideas for meeting their expectations.
- Retaining Volunteers - by Cathi Hight, Chamber Executive article from February 2005. Discusses what motivates members to volunteer and how to meet their range of expectations.
- Whose Responsibility Is It? - by Ed McMillan, Chamber Executive (February 2005)
- Booking Volunteers’ Time - by Ed McMillan, Chamber Executive (April 2004)
- Volunteer Membership Committees - by Linda Dickerhoof, Chamber Executive (February 2004)
- Articles on the Role of the Executive Director in Volunteer Management - From Energize Inc.
- Employee or Volunteer: What’s the Difference? - article by Melanie Lockwood Herman from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center
- Forty Chamber Challenges: Boards, Committees, Strategic Planning, and Policy Adoption From the Robert C. Harris Nonprofit Center addresses four areas of persistent concern: boards and governance, committee management, strategic planning, and policy implementation. It identifies ten challenges related to each area, and suggests perspectives and solutions for each.
Books & e-Books
Does your Chamber have a guide or checklist to volunteer management or working with chamber ambassadors? We'd like to highlight your resources here! Email us at HERO@acce.org
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