Hundreds of volunteers have contributed tens of thousands of hours to fulfill our calling as an organization. Our online forum has emerged as the world’s best peer-to-peer source of preeclampsia information and support. Over 4,000 members have contributed to over 150,000 posts since its inception 3 years ago. Over 50 moderators and administrators have made that possible, all as volunteers. Dozens of local fundraisers such as poker parties, yard sales, golf tournaments, fishing tournaments, raffles and silent auctions – have been driven by volunteers, raising over $20,000 dollars. In two years, our annual walk-a-thon has been staged in 22 communities, raising $100,000 and reaching scores of people who had never heard of preeclampsia!
No matter how large we become or how quickly we reach our goal to be directed by a professional staff, volunteers will always be a critical component of our success. Your Board of Directors has developed 8 objectives for the next 18 months, one of which is a commitment to more effectively mobilize local volunteers.
How will that objective be met?
We’re going to borrow a page from every HR manual for recruiting and retaining the best people, by creating job descriptions, applications and evaluations for key volunteer positions so that we can more effectively utilize the vast talents available to us; and by providing consistent and organized training so our volunteers are equipped to do the best job possible. One example is this summer’s Leadership Training Conference (see page 6 in this newsletter). Other strategies include developing tools that volunteers can use in their communities to help spread the word, such as a professionally produced educational video, a media relations toolkit, and a variety of outreach materials such as brochures (including a Spanish language version), fact sheets and White Papers (educational reports made available to the public). This newsletter is also a product of our strategy to improve communications to and among volunteers. Most of these initiatives are already underway, some nearing completion.
What is the strategic mission you are contributing to?
While the Foundation’s mission – as listed on our website’s home page – is certainly accurate in a broad sense, our strategic mission for the immediate future has been refined. It is to this specific mission that we call you to respond. (see sidebar) Developing a mission statement says as much about what we will do as it does about what we will not do – in order to stay focused. The shortest way to characterize our current mission is “Faster diagnosis – Better care – Healthier outcomes.”
As a volunteer, can impact that mission in your community by:
• Distributing patient information
• Encouraging or creating professional education opportunities
• Offering smart and empathetic peer-to-peer support
• Raising money