Volunteering should be fun AND productive, but how can we do that when we’re volunteers ourselves? Discuss your concerns, experiences, and strategies for engaging brigade and project members.
Three quick thoughts on volunteering, focusing on brigades:
a) General strength and weakness: the easy come/easy go atmosphere. Great to have zero bars to entry - show up, whoever you are. Hard to track people who leave - why do they leave? what does that mean for the brigade?
b) Probably should work on specific avenues for how brigades work with government open data gatekeepers. This is a separate, but very important part of the volunteering ecosystem. How much of the time does the government person see it as “my job to do it, no problem” versus “I can help - for a little bit, but I have higher priorities” versus “Stretches beyond my job as such, but willing to ‘volunteer’ time” especially if it is out-of-work-hours meetings or work from home
c) Am very interested in how brigades do any kind of tracking of volunteers - demographics, skills, kinds of involvement, etc. I think https://brigade.codeforamerica.org/brigades/Open-Seattle/ had a volunteer survey at some point, but I cannot find it. Other brigades?
Thanks, John Stephens, Code for Durham