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Use Your Voice

Polly Roach | Published on 9/7/2021

Raise your voice and be heard as a MAVA Member!

Membership organizations thrive on input and involvement by their members. As a member of the long-standing, but newly-renamed, Minnesota Alliance for Volunteer Advancement, you have several options for allying with your peers and contributing to MAVA’s future advancement. Some ways to be heard are:

MAVA Voice is the online forum for members to connect with peers to ask questions, share resources or crowd-source solutions to volunteer engagement dilemmas. Threaded conversations keep discussions on topic and timely, so it’s easy to see posts that are relevant to you. You can peruse the forum at any time, but you must be logged in to the MAVA website as a member to start a thread or post a response. Getting a conversation going is simple – click on the “Start New Thread” button on the upper left corner of the main page and you’ll have a pre-formatted posting that reflects your MAVA contact information (you can edit this in the message or your MAVA member profile). It’s also that easy to respond to a thread – just click on the subject line and you can reply to the main post or any of the other posters. 

Pro tip: Don’t miss a conversation – make sure to enable “Send messages via email” in the Forums section of your MAVA member profile, or by clicking on the “My Forum Preferences” button on the MAVA Voice page. You can set your preferences to receive notifications right away or as a daily digest. If, like me, you are trying to manage your email volume, you can direct MAVA Voice updates to your Forums tab (in Gmail at least) for catching up on later.

MAVA’s Blog offers you a new chance to share your insights with fellow MAVA members and volunteer engagement professionals – and we are always looking for new voices! Read the past entries and check out the guidelines for guest bloggers for ideas on how you can add to the dialogue and build your professional portfolio by exercising your writing voice. 

MAVA Connections give you opportunities to hear from other members and exchange ideas through a topic-based, live networking meeting. Connections are planned by MAVA members for MAVA members; they occur online (for now) on the third Thursday of even-numbered months. Watch the MAVA Events Calendar for upcoming topics and sign-ups (required).

MAVA’s District Councils provide leaders of volunteers in Greater Minnesota with ways to share information and resources, network with peers in your region, and determine how MAVA can support volunteer engagement across the state. Join a virtual gathering and be heard from the comfort of your desk! To learn more, look for quarterly regional meetings listed in the MAVA Events Calendar, or connect with Ellie Burkett, MAVA’s Greater Minnesota Program Manager. 

MAVA Committees are always on the look-out for new energy and ideas from MAVA members – and offer a great avenue to help MAVA move forward on areas that matter to you. Check out a listing of committees and download member position descriptions; areas that need your voice include:

  • Membership – help determine how to best meet the needs of your fellow members

  • Professional Development – create training and networking events to build knowledge and enhance skills 

  • Public Affairs – advocate on behalf of volunteerism and leaders of volunteers on key issues

  • Dismantling Inequities Conference Committee – help design, market and deliver the December 2021 virtual conference

MAVA’s Board of Directors will soon open up its nomination process, and is seeking applications from individuals who are passionate about volunteerism and want to see a positive impact in our communities through the power of people. Is that you? If you are interested in helping MAVA grow, and guiding its development as a member-driven organization, consider joining the Board in 2022. 

MAVA is only as strong as our membership – we need your voice to make MAVA the best alliance it can be!

Polly Roach
Service Enterprise Program Manager