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Volunteer Engagement in an Economic Downturn

January 25, 2009

Volunteer San Diego’s podcast #74 features VSD executive director, Sue Carter, speaking with podcast host, Brent Shintani, about the importance of volunteer engagement in these difficult economic times. The combination of an increase in need and a decrease in resources is giving San Diego area nonprofit organizations a serious challenge that threatens the future of our community’s most vulnerable. The good news is that Volunteer San Diego is providing tools to non-profits to leverage volunteer expertise in all areas of organizational responsibility. From stuffing envelopes to board oversight, volunteers are necessary team members for efficient nonprofits.

Sue Carter talks in the podcast about what nonprofit managers need to do to create a volunteer friendly culture, but there is a lot that volunteers can do to assist this process. First of all, offer your expertise. You may have a professional skill that can save the organization time and money, so why not pitch in? Also, volunteers must absolutely honor their commitments to nonprofits. Volunteer managers have all been burned by people with great intentions but terrible follow-through. So, you will do a great service to your favorite community organization by not biting off more than you can chew.

Check out http://vsdpodcast.org/ to give a listen to this episode and other great episodes of the VSD podcast.

Anna Schulz is a member of the Flex program and a volunteer blogger for Volunteer San Diego. She also writes for her family blog, The Full Catastrophe.

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