Describe your volunteer program.
As a performing arts center, most of our opportunities revolve around our programming. Ushering is our most popular opportunity. Yes, as a volunteer, you do have the opportunity to see the performances you are volunteering for and earn complimentary tickets for every 30 hours served. Volunteers at the Ordway can be found doing many things including, but not limited to: greeting school groups attending our school performances, promoting Ordway events alongside marketing staff members at community events such as Twin Cities Pride, Rondo Days, and Selby Jazz Festival, creating take away crafts and assisting with lobby activities at our Family Series Play and Learn lobby events, and in our offices doing tasks like data entry and stuff envelopes for large mailings. Ordway volunteers also play a large part in the success of our annual Spring Fete fundraising gala, and Flint Hills Family Festival. We engaged around 400 volunteers, putting in over 2200 volunteer hours in 2018.
What is your role?
I am the Volunteer Manager.
How did you get involved in volunteer engagement?
As an active volunteer my entire life in many areas, I've always felt it was important to support my organization as a volunteer whenever I was available. When our previous volunteer coordinator moved on to another job, it made sense organizationally for me to add the volunteer coordinator duties to my duties. I already was working closely with our paid usher staff, had a working knowledge of the needs of volunteers throughout the organization, and knew many of our volunteers. Adding volunteer managing became a really nice fit.
What does it mean to you to be a MAVA member?
When we joined, I wanted knowledge and to learn anything I could about "best practices" and the nuts and bolts of Volunteer Engagement Leadership. Through MAVA I got what I was looking for, and so much more. The job of the VEL can often be very lonely, as many of us are departments of one and most of us have other duties beyond managing our volunteers. My involvement with MAVA gave me a badly needed network that I was craving.
How has being a MAVA member directly impacted your work?
When I started my role as Volunteer Coordinator, almost daily, I would ask myself "Am I doing this right?" I attended the National Summit in 2017, I had an epiphany, "YES! Indeed, I am doing this right!" I quickly realized my successes and struggles were the same successes and struggles each and every person I met and talked with was experiencing at any given time. It didn't matter if you were new to Volunteer Engagement Leadership or working in this area for years.
What advice do you have for new MAVA members/leaders or volunteers?
Get involved. Attend the trainings, go to the conference, meet people. I get some of my best ideas for improving our volunteer community by talking to others and learning what my peers are doing.