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Getting Things Done For Ohio

Every day, Ohioans are making extraordinary contributions to the communities where they live, work, and play. Learn more about the impact AmeriCorps members and volunteers have on the communities they serve, stay current on service and volunteerism trends, and be the first to know about upcoming funding opportunities, events, and special initiatives.


Rebeccah Verhoff-Kiss, Outreach & Education Officer, ServeOhio

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Leading Volunteers in a Changing World

On November 14th, ServeOhio hosted over 260 volunteer and service administrators in a day of learning, sharing, and networking at the Ohio Conference on Service & Volunteerism. The theme this year was Leveling Up: From Striving to Thriving and all 24 breakout workshops were designed to move volunteer and AmeriCorps programs to the next level.

Our keynote speaker was Tobi Johnson, an internationally sought-after expert and leader in volunteer administration. Tobi shared valuable insights encouraging volunteer and service professionals to adapt their current volunteer engagement strategies to meet the needs of tomorrow’s volunteers. She shared three emerging trends and simple strategies to stay ahead of the curve.

Trend #1: Ever-increasing Automation and Personalization

Technology, especially the explosion of smart phone usage, has led to an on-demand world where we expect personalized information instantly and lose interest if we do not get immediate results.

Ways volunteer and service professionals can adapt:

1.       Use first name merge fields in subject lines and salutations

2.       Use email segmenting, tagging, and automation to send tailored, volunteer-centric information

3.       Offer easy-to-access on-demand content

Trend #2: Our “Kit Culture”

We all crave products and services that make our lives and decision-making easier. Thus, we’ve seen a rise in popularity of “kits” for everyday tasks such as making dinner (Blue Apron) and even shopping for clothing (Stitch Fix).

Ways volunteer and service professionals can adapt:

1.       Organize information to help volunteers choose (availability, interests, timeframe, etc.)

2.       Create “Bento-box” offerings/a variety of pre-packaged projects and “deliverables”

3.       Develop modularized training

4.       Create toolkits for volunteers

Trend #3: Advances in Brain Science

Competition for attention is fierce and we all have limited time and budget. We are in the midst of rapid change, but being human remains constant.

How can volunteer and service professionals can adapt:

1.       Collaborate. Collaboration is the new competition

We learned a lot from Tobi and all presenters at the conference. For a list of workshops and workshop materials, visit the conference website. Stay tuned for the date of the 2019 Ohio Conference on Service & Volunteerism!

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