Ep 39: From Kitchen Volunteer to Board Chair (with Sylvia Vogelman)

nonprofits are messyOne of my absolute favorite nonprofit stories centers on today’s guest. It has to do with the reason she was able to go in short order from being a volunteer in a kitchen to becoming the chair of the board of a significant nonprofit organization.

I’m not going to spoil it here. You’ll have to listen to the episode.

But more broadly, we talk about the power of volunteering. Multiple studies show the positive benefits of volunteering.

But the positive benefits aren’t just for the people receiving services. They’re for the VOLUNTEER too.

The benefits are even more pronounced in volunteers over 50. But what about the impact on the nonprofit? Let’s talk about the “Ladder of Engagement” and what you can do to move volunteers up that ladder. Maybe even all the way to board chair.

About Sylvia Vogelman

After Sylvia Vogelman retired from a successful career in publishing and direct marketing, she became a volunteer at God’s Love We Deliver, chopping vegetables and preparing meals for homebound residents of New York. Eventually, she became a fundraiser and, ultimately, the board chair at GLWD.

Her story is inspiring and teaches all of us a whole lot about cultivating the assets your volunteers bring to the table (no pun intended).

In this episode:

  • How to grow your volunteers as your organization pivots or matures
  • How volunteers can save you literally millions of dollars
  • One very simple thing you can do to make your volunteers feel appreciated. It’s so simple, and costs nothing.
  • What you can do as a volunteer to grow into a new role at your organization
  • The importance of allowing giving at ALL levels a.k.a. “The Tile Story” (my favorite nonprofit story ever.)
  • How to identify volunteers who might be prime to move up the ladder
  • The care and feeding of volunteers (yeah, another food pun)

Episode Links: