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Thread: Volunteer shortage

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  1. #1
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    Volunteer shortage

    I had a great time at the rally again this year. I did notice the many comments from various committee chairs and staff about a real shortage of volunteers. This puzzles me. We are a club that has to be self supporting to survive and flourish. If ALL attendees planned to volunteer for just one shift of duty, we would have to turn people away. Come on, help out.

  2. #2
    Pocono Bill
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    Volunteer Time

    As a committee chair I can say that I had no shortage of volunteers. Perhaps it is the length of time in each shift.

    Each chair can establish his or her own schedule. I set my shifts at two hours. In my mind that gave volunteers the time and flexibility to get to seminars, programs, and vendor shopping as they wished.

    The comment was made "too many chiefs". Let me tell you that those chiefs are at work all year long and we are volunteers also. For an operation as large as an International Rally you want experienced people handling the many aspects so that the top Rally Chairs aren't faced with dealing with the nitty-gritty.

    Back to my initial point and let me close with a question. What is the ideal length of time for a volunteer shift, and would we get more volunteers if the shifts were shorter?

    Bill

  3. #3
    WDaigle
    Guest
    My wife and I arrived on Tuesday morning, a day earlier than planned. We volunteered in the MOA building at the Volunteers table for sveral hours. We also volunteered for Wednesday, my wife at the Pin & Patch table and I did a shift on Security in the Vendor buildings. We had pre-registered for two other volunteer shifts. Together we did a morning shift with the Oasis crew and Friday we did a shift in the middle of the day on the Gates crew.

  4. #4
    Registered User biketrax's Avatar
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    You want more volonteers!

    Do you want more volunteers! So many that you have to turn some down? Someone mentioned hiring outside help? Why pay others? Reward our own by free access. Small price to pay, during these hard times and rough economy.
    Why not offer free registration for a designated amount of volunteered time? Perhaps for a set amount of hours or the task at hand?
    Concert security get free access to the concert they work, the organizers would never ask them to pay to enter and then ask to volunteer. They hire the clean up crew!
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  5. #5
    Bikes, Guitars, and ... beemokat's Avatar
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    I volunteered at the rallies I went to. An essential part of the experience in my opinion.
    Wherever you go, there you are.

  6. #6
    WDaigle
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeemoKat View Post
    I volunteered at the rallies I went to. An essential part of the experience in my opinion.
    You are so right, volunteering at the rally makes the whole experience so much better. You get to meet a lot of people and help out anyone who is in need. I have volunteered at three national rallies and my wife has volunteered at the only two that she has been able to attend. We really enjoyed the experience.

  7. #7
    beemerFROG derost's Avatar
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    I volunteered and was proud to do so. Not only did I really enjoy helping people out at the charging station, I got to meet a bunch of people and spread around some laughs as well.

    "That's right, if you don't pick up your phone by 6pm we will trade it in for a beer!"

    The only comment I would say was that the booth many times became an information booth as it was the second table after dropping off tickets, so people then came to us with a lot of questions about what next. For whom ever is listening, I own a marketing company and would be happy to donate graphic design time to design signage/ posters that would provide more of a graphical road map of what to do. Be it registration, events, whatever... I'd be happy to help. Never too soon to start thinking about next year.
    -Ride Safe & Avoid Anyone On The Phone-
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  8. #8
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    Bill,

    I had one shift doing the ice that was 3 hours and then gates 6A that was 2 hours.

    Either one worked for me as time files even with a twisted ankle working gates.


    Quote Originally Posted by PoconoBill View Post
    *snip*

    Back to my initial point and let me close with a question. What is the ideal length of time for a volunteer shift, and would we get more volunteers if the shifts were shorter?

    Bill
    Mack McDonald
    Garland, Tx.
    04 1150 GSA

  9. #9
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    The GS Giants make up most of the volunteers at the event I manage.

    There are several key volunteers who work for months ahead of time getting things arranged with various venues and suppliers. It's a LOT of work and they do a great job.

    We also have key people who do things at the rally. They give a lot of their time, too.

    During the rally we seem to have good luck with finding people for the smaller tasks, even if enough don't sign up early. The Queen is known to bribe people with GS BS points...

    We use an on-line project management system to keep everyone on the same page at the event. This keeps us from having to invent too many things on the fly.

    Ian

    .
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  10. #10
    Registered User not2brite's Avatar
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    Volunteers:

    Sedalia was only my second National. I volunteered this time (twice...got my collectible black macho security T-shirt!) and will do it again. But it struck me that the National rally is so professionally run that many younger/ first time rally attendees may not recognize the need for all those unsung volunteeers behind the scene. (I've been a director in a small local chapter, and there everything revolves around the volunteers. The black "volunteer" buttons handed out at rally registration were a start, but maybe going to a single color volunteer shirt...same color with subgroup printed on the back?...would also make it more apparent that the rally absolutely relies on the hundreds of volunteers.
    "If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend 6 hours sharpening my ax." Abe Lincoln

  11. #11
    Registered User greenwald's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by not2brite View Post
    Sedalia was only my second National. I volunteered this time (twice...got my collectible black macho security T-shirt!) and will do it again. But it struck me that the National rally is so professionally run that many younger/ first time rally attendees may not recognize the need for all those unsung volunteeers behind the scene. (I've been a director in a small local chapter, and there everything revolves around the volunteers. The black "volunteer" buttons handed out at rally registration were a start, but maybe going to a single color volunteer shirt...same color with subgroup printed on the back?...would also make it more apparent that the rally absolutely relies on the hundreds of volunteers.
    Great suggestion about a single colored shirt! You should suggest it to the new Rally Chairs for Salem. I know the Security guys suffered a bit in those black shirts.

    Also, while volunteering is important, and at times I struggled to get enough personnel (I and George needed well over 120+) to fill Gates assignments, not everyone needs or can volunteer. Some go to the Rally simply to relax - good for them. Others have physical issues that prevent them from helping with many duties - understandable.

    Though as Chairs, we sometimes stress out to fill our ranks with needed members, we somehow manage to get the job done, given a pool of 5,000 or so.

    Hey - if a single shirt with appropriate committee names becomes a reality, please make it both light and bright!
    Kevin Greenwald - Touring Tips Editor
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  12. #12
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    I volunteered. I am wearing the 'gate' shirt and the orange hat around my house at the moment. You should have mentioned you get a free hat and t-shirt. That would have encouraged more people to volunteer.

  13. #13
    gbrickell
    Guest
    If I'd had more time, I'd have gladly volunteered. Feel guilty that I didn't. Unfortunately, with a young kiddo to factor in, and work commitments, it was a miracle I attended at all. I drove down to Sedalia and back to Kansas City both Thursday and Friday. I was able to arrange for a baby sitter both days, but had to be home in the early evening to pick up my daughter. Also, I had to not only drive to Sedalia and back on Friday, but work a 12 hour overnight shift that night until 7a Saturday morning. Friday was pretty rough! I slept well on Saturday, let me tell you.

    100% totally worth it. But sadly, no time to volunteer down there. Someday, I'll be able to attend for longer at a time and will happily pay my dues. :>)

    Thank you to all the people who did volunteer, which allowed someone like myself to attend and have such a great time despite my limited available time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuckyGrownup View Post
    I volunteered. I am wearing the 'gate' shirt and the orange hat around my house at the moment. You should have mentioned you get a free hat and t-shirt. That would have encouraged more people to volunteer.
    I didn't get a hat or shirt. I did security for a short time and didn't expect anything for it. had a great time. Will volunteer again. I did leave word to call me if I was needed again. Never got the call.

  15. #15
    OldBMWMaster JDOCKERY132445's Avatar
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    More advice

    Quote Originally Posted by brewmeister View Post
    If you'd simplify things up a bit you would'nt need as many volunteers.These rallys are becoming to complicated .To many chiefs not enough indians.hire help! (more sarcasm)
    This from someone who did not attend last year or this year. Which rally were you in charge of? A major volunteer at? Attend?
    Jerry Dockery
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