AASP is launching a new volunteer initiative. A valuable influence behind the initiative is volunteer and board member, Jessica Macaluso.
“The overarching theme is to treat our volunteers exactly as we treat our donors,” says Macaluso. "The organization’s programs are completely volunteer-run and volunteers are our most important asset. The new initiative is an opportune time to develop a systematic way to recognize and sustain our volunteer base. By doing so, other standing committees can be focused on their main tasks and less so on the task of recruiting committee volunteers.”
At the initiative’s core is the establishment of a Volunteer Engagement Committee voted upon by the board in the fall of 2015. Comprising the committee are tenured AASP members, such as Vicky Medlock and Jennifer Liu Cooper along with Macaluso. Summit 2016 marked the official launch. AASP members and volunteers were invited to stop by the Volunteer Booth in the exhibit hall; sign up for the networking dinners hosted by the standing committees; and explore the new interest form dedicated to volunteers. Down the road, the committee plans to create a volunteer database.
Macaluso, who has been a member of AASP for three years and is with UC Davis as Executive Director of Advancement Services has been part of the profession for five years. Her volunteer and work experience make her a credible ambassador to help drive this volunteer transformation. In her role at UC Davis, she leads a team “that has a passion for service, and is committed to accuracy and best practices.” She is eager to bring that enthusiasm and expertise to the new Volunteer Engagement Committee.
Why now? Macaluso points out that with becoming an organization of 1000 members, we’ve reached a tipping point where we must acknowledge the sophistication of the organization’s volunteer structure. We want to give focus to the vast scope of work being done by volunteers. We don’t want our volunteers to fall into a feeling of doing thankless work, which sometimes can happen in this profession. Macaluso wants everyone’s involvement in AASP to be a rewarding one. The new committee is a positive change toward that.