by Julie D. Mulkern
Most of us can say easily that without the support of our peers and the professional organizations to which we belong, we would not be nearly as successful with our programs. This is largely because we are part of a uniquely non-competitive field. The volunteer management world is a well of resource-sharing.
Professional organizations allow for a congregation of intelligent, like-minded professionals that are immersed in the inner workings of their industry to gather and provide participants with access to a variety of opinions and ideas. The Volunteer Maine site is a perfect 21st century example!
Currently, I am a member of the Maine Society of Directors of Healthcare Volunteer Services (MSDHVS). Membership in this group has been invaluable to my growth as a volunteer manager. This group represents volunteer directors in healthcare organizations all across Maine and boasts literally hundreds of years of experience in volunteer management. This diverse constituency provides a wealth of information for new or seasoned volunteer managers.
Membership in a professional organization exposes you to new opportunities and people that could help you now and in the future. You’re developing a network in which you’re meeting like-minded people from other organizations that face similar challenges and who may be able to provide insights into solutions that have worked for them.
In the process you are reaping the benefits of: increased credibility, broadened knowledge, potential career opportunities, and last but certainly not least, lifelong friendships.
Julie D. Mulkern is the Manager of Volunteer Resources & Development at Spring Harbor Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Westbrook, Maine.