Effective Holistic Approach to Association Volunteer Management

ASAE Research Foundation engaged Mariner Management in a study to develop a deeper understanding of holistic models for strategically designing, implementing, and operating effective volunteer management practices in trade and professional associations.

Topics
Volunteerism

Hallmark
Defining Effective Practices

Research Report (Anticipated release Spring 2023)
TBD, research in progress

Research Objectives
In 2021, ASAE Research Foundation engaged Mariner Management in a study to develop a deeper understanding of holistic models for strategically designing, implementing, and operating effective volunteer management practices in trade and professional associations. Findings will build on previous research (Mutually Beneficial Volunteerism - 2017, Decision to Volunteer - 2008, and Enhancing Committee Effectiveness - 2009), and will consider a breadth of strategic and operational volunteer management elements, a wide range of volunteer functions and commitments, how high-impact disruptors, including but not limited to racial justice movements and a global health pandemic, might impact the execution of a holistic volunteer management model in the short- and/or long-term. Key goals are:

  • Develop an understanding of models, practices and strategies associations may use to create an effective holistic volunteer management system which engages members in the association and enables associations to increase diversity, equity and inclusion, leverage opportunities and navigate disruptors. What is the new volunteer management playbook?
  • Develop an understanding and coherent working definition of “effective” for association volunteer systems with objectively measurable attributes. How can be sure our investment in volunteers is making a difference for volunteers, our association and our member community?
  • Derive an evidence-based method of assessment by which associations may create a focused organizational strategy and optimize the structure and processes of their volunteer management systems. How can we continually improve our volunteer system?

Methodology

The project will include three studies: individual interviews/focus groups, association survey and survey of volunteer of participating associations. This provides multiple opportunities for association professionals to be involved in the research from individual interviews, focus groups and surveys.

Additionally, the project empaneled a Research Advisory Council, a diverse and representative group of association professionals, to serve in the role of thought-leaders and subject matter experts. The group provides a critical real-world perspective as we explore what models for volunteer systems will best serve the association community.

Key Takeaways

TBD, research in progress

Project Partners and External Project Team Members

Mariner Management
Peggy Hoffman, FASAE, CAE, President & Executive Director
Peter Houstle, CEO & COO 

Project Advisory Group
Preet Bassi, CAE (advisory group chair), CEO, Center for Public Safety Excellence
Bob Chalker, MBA, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, NACE Intl
Bob London, FASAE, CAE, National Executive Director, Alpha Phi Omega
Silvia Quevedo, CCC/SLP, CAE, Director of Practice Guidance, APIC
Celeste Smith, CAE, Director of Education, American Association of Law Libraries
Amy Williams, IOM, MPA, CAE, Vice President of Business Development & Consulting, Association Headquarters Inc