Volunteerism: The importance of the “personal ask”

December Scrambler 056
A recap of the Chamber’s December 17 Sunrise Scrambler at the Wichita Area Technical College. 

Our December Sunrise Scrambler that showcases area charitable nonprofit organizations is one of our favorite holiday events. It’s a unique opportunity for the Chamber’s for-profit business partners to personally thank local nonprofits for the work they do to strengthen and stabilize our families and neighborhoods. And it gives our nonprofit business partners an opportunity to expand their reach by sharing their mission and information about the services they offer with attendees and each other. It’s the best kind of networking exchange—a win-win.

Wendy Glick (pictured above), Director of Development and Community Relations at Catholic Charities, was our featured speaker. Glick began her nonprofit career with the federal Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program. Her first undertaking was to create and manage a volunteer program for Catholic Charities. She later served as the first Director of Volunteers for The Lord’s Diner, where she grew the volunteer base to more than 4,000 people.

Glick spoke about the history of volunteerism and the changes she’s seen in how businesses approach volunteerism. In the last 15 years of volunteer management, she’s noticed more companies developing an organized approach to volunteer opportunities. They view it as a positive way for their employees to build their team-working skills while improving their community. Glick noted that nearly all of the Wichita Business Journal’s 2013 BEST PLACES TO WORK winners (announced earlier this fall) had a volunteer component incorporated into their culture.  She’s also noticed that the social component of volunteerism has become more important in attracting the next generation of volunteers.

Glick’s primary message was a reminder that extending a personal invitation to someone to join you in volunteering is the most effective way to help them become involved. A “personal ask” for help is a powerful way to help others discover the joys of volunteering.

There’s no better time for each of us to thank everyone in Wichita who volunteers their time to make this a better place to live and work. Please thank a volunteer this week and use a “personal ask” to encourage others to become more involved in improving the lives of your neighbors.

We thank our sponsors, Emprise Bank and Wichita Area Technical College, for making it possible for 32 charitable organizations to showcase their work during the exhibit portion of the event. Special thanks to our members who visited with exhibitors and our event emcee, Envision President and CEO Michael Monteferrante, who did a wonderful job of introducing our speaker and keeping our program on track.

We look forward to seeing you next month at the January 15 Sunrise Scrambler when Todd Ramsey, Chief Strategist at Apples and Arrows presents The Practical Principles of Potent PowerPoint Presentations.

Photo: Gary Plummer, Tim Witsman of WIBA

PlummerWitsmanChamber President Gary Plummer and WIBA President Tim Witsman paused for a photograph at a holiday reception sponsored by the Non Profit Chamber of Service on December 5 at Abode. Plummer and Witsman have forged a partnership between the Chamber and WIBA on several fronts, including a joint Military Affairs task force and the Washington, D.C. Fly-In earlier in 2013.  The Chamber and WIBA also cooperate on candidate forums and on educational offerings for members of both organizations.

“We share a lot in common with WIBA and look forward to continuing a positive partnership with the organization in the future,” said Plummer.

(Photograph courtesy of Michael Monteferrante, Envision)