So here we are, another year and another International Volunteer Managers Day. Thanks to the hard work of peers like Andy Fryar and Rob Jackson, we have another inspiring campaign of “Be the Voice” and this year, a blog carnival thanks to Liza Dyer.
I love the theme of “Be the Voice” because we have a non-existent leadership pipeline in this profession- but I’ll talk about that another time. Playing devil’s advocate though, it could be argued that one of the reasons why the profession has barely advanced is because ‘talk is cheap’ and talk is pretty much all we’ve done (mostly bitching too, and I’m as guilty as any!). I don’t discount for a second the hard work, true efforts and real advancements we’ve seen over the years but I would argue that now is the time for action more than talk.
By all means, “Be the Voice” and talk loudly and proudly about our work. Yet how amazing would it be to see an upsurge in tangible actions too? Actions like joining a professional association or volunteering in a leadership capacity for one of them. What about participating in working groups like those formed after the National Summit conference in Minnesota? Even simple things like documenting and sharing new innovations with others by submitting articles to eVolunteerism make a difference by building a body of knowledge and keeping it current. These actions all serve to advance broader initiatives that benefit the entire profession. There are so many things you can do that would contribute in profound ways towards our shared goal of moving the Volunteer Engagement profession forward.
We must be more than voices- we must be examples of the incredible potential and impact that can happen when talented professionals connect community to our organization’s missions. When that happens, more than just being voices, our actions will speak louder than words.