Every organization is only as strong and vital as the people involved in making it work. Despite the fact that people are increasingly busy, most people find volunteer work of some kind highly rewarding and gratifying. There are alumnae who would be happy to volunteer for Smith; work with them to help find the volunteer job that provides the best fit.
The first rule of finding volunteers is to ask.
- Give members opportunities to sign up on a club dues form, at an event, or through a survey.
- Ask other Smith women if they know of anyone who would be a good volunteer.
- Approach a potential volunteer personally. Let her know that what she would be doing is important to the organization and to Smith.
- Follow up on all offers of help! Don’t lose the chance; timing is key.
- Break major jobs into smaller ones. People are more likely to sign up for a minor task than to assume major responsibility.
- Appoint co-chairs rather than a single chairperson. It’s more fun and less onerous to share a job with someone else. Remember: focus on fun and friendship.
Fostering Leadership and Managing Volunteers
- Listen to volunteers and be receptive to different ideas.
- Support, praise and thank volunteers for their efforts.
- Pair experienced volunteers with new ones, older with younger.
- Vary the tasks or reapportion them every so often so no one does the same thing event after event or year after year.
- Provide clear communication regarding duties and deadlines to promote a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
- Always try to give volunteers assignments for which they have an aptitude or expertise.
- Contact the OAR for advice, support and suggestions.
Webinar recordings for all volunteers
- Dwight Hamilton: Inclusion, Diversity and Equity at Smith
- Katherine Rowe: Renewing Neilson for the 21st Century
Webinar recordings by volunteer role
- Class Communications – for Presidents (September 2017)
- Getting the Word Out – for Clubs (October 2017)
- Class Finances (Part 1) – for Class Treasurers (November 2017)
- Class Finances (Part 2) – for Class Treasurers (November 2017)
- Reunion Nuts & Bolts – Planning for 2019 – for Reunion Chairs (January 2018)
- Engaging Current and Prospective Students – for Clubs (February 2018)
Surprise a Smithie!
Do you know an alumna who’s celebrating a great event in their life – or could just use a pick-me-up? The Office of Alumnae Relations Surprise a Smithie program is a great way to send best wishes or encouragement to a Smithie you know would appreciate it. Submit the Surprise a Smithie form to request that a student ambassador write a lovely note and put together a little gift mailing!
Together for Smith: 2018 Volunteer Leadership Conference – Resources for Volunteers
Furthering the on-campus experience for those who attended Together for Smith: the 2018 Volunteer Leadership Conference (September 22-23, 2018), and for those who couldn’t attend, we are pleased to share the resources below with all who volunteer for Smith in varying capacities. You are our best ambassadors, and we hope you’ll find these materials helpful. Feel free to reach out to your staff liaison with any questions or for assistance. We are ready to help in any way you need!
Presentations for all volunteers (Volunteer Leadership Conference 2018)
- Mike Howard: Smith College Financial Operations
- Audrey Smith and Deanna Dixon: Admission, Financial Aid, and Scholarship
- Susan Fliss, Roger Mosier and Dano Weisbord: Sustainable Smith – Using the Campus as a Classroom
- Maureen Trafford: Alumnae Community Update
Presentations and Documents for class volunteers
- Class President: All The President’s Women: Your Job as Class President
- Class Presidents: Communicate, Motivate, Facilitate: An Overview of Your Job as Class President (Fall 2018)
- Reunion Chair: Engineering Your 2018 Reunion – The Nuts and Bolts of Reunion Planning (Fall 2018)
- Class Secretary: Guidelines (Fall 2018)
- Class Secretary: Photo Sending Tips for Class Secretaries (Fall 2018)
- Class Secretary: Tips and Tricks for Alumnae Lives Update (Class Notes) (Fall 2018)
- Class Secretary: How to Navigate the SAQ online (Fall 2018)
- Class Treasurer: Information for Class Treasurers
Presentations and Documents for club volunteers
- Getting the Word Out – Clubs Panel
- Smith College Club Treasuries (2015)
- Club Tax Status: FAQs (2015)
- Creative and Dynamic Ways to Engage Alumnae Through Events: Quote References (2015)
- Smith College Clubs: A Legacy of Connection (2015)
Presentations and Documents for admission volunteers
- Admission Interview Tips
- Financial Aid Information for Admission volunteers
- College Fair Tips
- Admission Volunteer Positions (2015)
- Admission Volunteer Resources (2015)
- Who’s Who in the NAAC (2015)
- Tips for ACCs Flying Solo (2015)
- Tips for Hosting Admission Events (2015)
Presentations and Documents for Smith Fund and development volunteers
- Smith Fund FY18 Volunteer Guide
- Crafting Your Personal Story of Philanthropy
- Pre-50th Reunion Fund Raising
- Critical Questions for Fundraisers
- The Smith Fund: Volunteer Leadership Corps Brochure (2018)
Presentations and Documents for planned giving volunteers
- Planned Giving: Raising Awareness and Personalizing Stewardship
- Planned Gifts That Count for Reunion
Other useful documents
- Smith Today: Your Guide to Telling Smith’s Unique 21st Century Story (Fall 2018)
- Highlights of Smith Faculty Scholarship: Academic Year 2014-15