Q: You’re the VP of Membership of DOVIA-LA. What is that role like?
A: The role is fun! I get to learn about all the non-profits in LA county and meet who is leading the volunteer front! It’s so great seeing all the places there are to volunteer and the wonderful work that is happening. I spend about 4 hours a month on back end processes which leads to my favorite part- when you get to a meeting and see a full house, or greet a new member!
Q: If a DOVIA member wanted to take on a leadership role in the Membership Committee, what kinds of things would they be doing?
A: This year was great learning the ropes of membership, for 2019 we need to focus in on finding lapsed organizations and new organizations to join! If you want to help on outreach for membership, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Q: When were you introduced to DOVIA-LA and how?
A: I was introduced by my Development Director at Ascencia. Once she told me this existed, I was hooked. I went to the first meeting, and left beaming! I felt empowered and supported from the get-go. It was magical to find “my people”!
Q: What motivated you to join the Board of Directors?
A: My love for DOVIA prompted me to ask about joining. They were looking for Board Members and it felt like the perfect timing. I’m so glad I did, it’s been a great way to further my career and it really has reminded me why I do what I do!
Q: Where are you currently working and what do you want us to know about the organization?
A: I work at Ascencia, a homeless shelter and services organization in Glendale. I came into this role as the Administrative Assistant and my role quickly changed as we have over 900 volunteers per year! I was very lucky because my bosses knew volunteer coordination was my passion and have given me the space to really manage volunteers and put some systems in place. Our volunteers cook and serve dinner every night. We also utilize volunteers for events. One of my greatest volunteer moments at Ascencia is when I organized 80 volunteers for our gala. My gala volunteer schedule spreadsheet was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever created!
Q: How did you get started managing volunteers?
A: First and foremost, I am a volunteer. With a friend, we sat down and did some professional/life envisioning, and through a series of questions, I knew I wanted my professional experience to contain 3 things community, creation, and a place where I could give back. This led me to volunteer coordination. My first role was managing volunteers on a farm and then I went on to help manage a volunteer run mobile food pantry in Portland, OR.
Q: What has been one of your proudest accomplishments in working with volunteers or community engagement?
A: My proudest accomplishment is when a volunteer walks away with a profound experience and passion for the mission of the organization. I strive to create a volunteer environment that is compassionate and gives them a place to grow. When that happens, I have done my job.
Q: Do you have any tips for volunteer managers?
A: My biggest tip is build your program. Make systems that make your job easier. I think a lot of people hold off because it takes time in the beginning to create, but in the long run, it helps!
Q: Do you have any hobbies that help you maintain work/life balance?
A: I love being outdoors, I previously took an apprenticeship farming, so now anytime I can get my hands in the dirt I feel like it grounds me and helps me recuperate from looking at screens all day and from my windowless office!
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: If you are searching for a role in the non-profit world but unsure where you fit, come to a DOVIA meeting! It’s a great place to explore the field. Los Angeles is filled with professional development groups, whether you’re in college, between jobs, or looking to switch careers, a professional development group is the best place to start!