Asking "Why?" Gets Results!
The previous posting, "Why Don't Job Banks Include Volunteer Management as a Profession? (Applying My September Hot Topic to Real-Life Situations)," generated some wonderful action. Hillary Roberts, who started the whole thread in the first place, promptly sent the following short-and-sweet e-mail to Bridgestar on September 7, including that small word "why":
Hello: I've been involved in Volunteer Resource Management in many roles and wondered why your job bank does not include this sector of the profession by name in your job bank. VRM, Volunteer Coordinator, Director of Volunteers are all missing from the title area. How do such pros find jobs through Bridgestar?
Hillary Roberts, President, Blankie Depot, www.blankiedepot.org
She received an immediate, same-day reply from Lindsay, Coleman, Associate Director of the Bridgespan Group:
Hi Hillary: Thank you for visiting the Bridgestar job board.
We do not include titles as pre-set options, they are a free form box that can be completed by the person posting the job. If the title of the job they are recruiting for is Volunteer Coordinator then they may write that. I can see that adding a functional responsibility option of “Volunteer Management” might be helpful. I believe currently people may have chosen Management or Programs if they were posting that type of job. Thank you for taking the time to write in with the suggestion. We are planning to update our job board functionality in early 2013 and I will certainly include this suggestion in on our wish list.
Again, thank you for your suggestion.
Lindsay Coleman, Associate Director, The Bridgespan Group, www.bridgespan.org
But she didn't stop there. First, Coleman replied to the previous blog posting and, as she took the time to send it to me as a direct e-mail as well, I'm highlighting it again here. She gives everyone the bonus of a free posting on Bridgestar of any volunteer management job opening from now to the end of the year, too!
Hi Susan: I wanted to take the opportunity to respond to your post. Hillary's request was actually the first we had received to add Volunteer Management, and it was a good suggestion. As a result, we have just added the option as a functional responsibility on our job board. Users can now search for jobs in Volunteer Management, create a job alert to email them when positions are posted, and organizations can now post specific opportunities in that field. In support of your efforts to get the word out about this important role, I would like to offer anyone posting a volunteer management job on the Bridgestar.org job board by the end of the year a free posting. Simply enter the discount code VOLUNTEER at check out.
Thanks again to Hillary for her suggestion and for contacting me. I would also like to encourage feedback from anyone on how we can better serve the sector. We are planning an update to our job board’s functionality in 2013 and if there are additional suggestions on how we can make it more useful, I would love to hear from you. Please check out our nonprofit job board at: www.bridgestar.org and send any suggestions or ideas to: Bridgestar@bridgespan.org.
There was also an exchange on Twitter between Bridgestar and Energize (thanks to Cara Thenot on our staff):
Isn't it wonderful to find an organization this engaged in good customer service? Finally, Coleman sent both Roberts and me one last direct e-mail: Thank you both for your suggestion to add Volunteer Management to our job board on Bridgestar.org. We have done so and welcome further suggestions for future enhancements so we can better serve the sector.
In terms of my theme of the month -- the power of "Why?" -- this successful exchange certainly proves the point:
- Hillary Roberts did not complain or get angry; she sent a reasonable e-mail asking "why?"
- Bridgestar, through Lindsay Coleman, recognized the question as a perceived problem and explained its reasoning. But in the process, they realized it was legitimate and easy to make a change right away, and so they did.
- We in the profession of volunteer management are the real winners. We can now search for work we really want, and the inclusion of our field in a well-respected job bank is acknowledgement of what we do and educates executives who post employment opportunities.