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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Passion for Helping Others and Building Support for a Cause

Written by  Duane Bailey

My teen-aged son and I donated our time on a recent Saturday, performing basic home repair work with others from a group called the Mini Work Camp. Aside from the noble goal of ending homelessness in our community, what made this experience remarkable for us was the passion the leaders of this group demonstrated in everything they did that day.

As first-time participants, we were welcomed as enthusiastically as returning volunteers. When we arrived at the home we were helping to renovate, we were given a tour of the work site and a description of the various jobs we needed to complete. Regardless of our experience, each of us was encouraged to pick a job that interested us and to try different jobs throughout the day.

Almost immediately, the participants went to work. Everyone – teens and adults – jumped in and did whatever needed to be done. Pat, the leader, set the tone early on with his willingness to share both his knowledge and his tools. He took a genuine interest in each and every volunteer. Phyllis, the program’s coordinator, even baked homemade cookies for everyone to enjoy during lunch.

As the morning progressed, the list of jobs that needed to be done grew shorter. By mid-afternoon, we had completed all of the tasks that had been assigned by the site’s construction manager. As my son and I were driving away, Pat motioned for us to stop. He thanked us, by name, for coming and told us he hoped we would be back soon.

If you are the leader of an association, not-for-profit, charity or foundation, is this the kind of experience you are providing for your volunteers? Building support for your cause often begins with a remarkable volunteer experience.

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey

Duane Bailey is a regular contributor to The Chief Storyteller® online conversation. He has helped organizations of all sizes drive growth in revenues and market share through the development and delivery of key business messages that resonate with target audiences. He holds an MBA in International Business and a BS in Marketing. He brings 28 years of experience in marketing communications and high technology sales.

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