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Banking on Volunteer Talents

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When Elizabeth Ellis was Volunteer Development Manager for the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys, she managed, promoted and expanded their “Talent Match” database. This database listed the specific skills, preferred service locations, age group preferences and availability of individuals specifically recruited for this database. Both staff and adult volunteer Girl Scout leaders utilized this resource through a password-protected search to match their unique needs to volunteer interests and availability.

In this feature story, Ellis reviews the multiple benefits of creating a similar "talent" database for organizations, and explores the potential of “banking on volunteer talents” and time. She also reviews the multiple benefits of developing a similar "skills bank," and shares a model for how to make it work. Says Ellis, “Being on the front lines of volunteer recruitment, I had the opportunity to experience the growing interest of potential volunteers using this model, as well as experience first-hand the impact of this end user-friendly matching technique."