Who Do I Follow?

UGA Alumni
by Meredith Gurley Johnson

With just about 20 Alumni Relations staff, and over 318,000 living alumni, the alum to staff ratio is about 15,900 alumni to each staff member in the Office of Alumni Relations.  This of course, does not count all of the great work managed by our development officers and alumni directors in the schools/colleges, units, etc.

The Office of Alumni Relations focuses on one goal as our big WIG or, Wildly Important Goal.  We strive for every graduate to be an advocate for the University of Georgia.  With 20 of us and hundreds of thousands of them, we need help!  This is why we lead alongside board members, council leaders, chapter leaders and the like.  We can’t create meaningful engagement opportunities without the help of volunteers all around the world.

We spend a lot of time learning how to work with volunteers.  From defining what we need the volunteers to do, to recruiting the right volunteers, all the way to training the volunteers…..we stay incredibly busy.  Here are 2 of my regular “go to” resources for volunteer management, and general leadership.

  • I absolutely love Joan Garry.  I had the chance to meet her at a CASE/CAAE conference a few years ago, and still get mileage from her teachings.  She starts with an awesome discussion about the perfect fictional nonprofit leader.  Is it Superman?  Spiderman? Wonder Woman? Kermit the Frog?  You’ll have to read it to find out. I love most that Joan is real, and helpful in describing the ideal “attributes” of leaders and volunteers. Check out her blog and or podcast.  (Side note, I am a Joan Garry expert.  Let me know if you want to discuss any of her ideas). https://www.joangarry.com/nonprofit-leadership-blog/
  • Skip Prichard Leadership Insights is really good, too.  I found him on Twitter a few years ago, because his advice really hit home for me.  Several of his interviews have lead me to great books and podcasts that I utilize this day, such as, “9 Behaviors of Great Problem Solvers” by Nat Greene. Sign up for regular blog entries here: https://www.skipprichard.com/

Take a look, and let me know what you think!  What would you like to try?  What thoughts should we focus on as a division, and what recommendations for volunteer leadership experts to follow?  Happy reading!