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Facilitating the End of an Era

Facilitating the End of an Era

Betty Stallings assisted a hospital in northern California to change the future of volunteering in its institution by facilitating a process that allowed the hospital auxiliary to reach the decision to disband itself and design a new volunteer involvement program. Betty shares her 10-step intervention process, as well as specific barriers and concerns, and the facilitation techniques used to address these concerns.

The process, with tailored modifications, could be used effectively with any volunteer program needing to be re-engineered rather than simply improved.

To read the full article

Mon, 02/09/2004
I am a DVS. We have already begun the process of ending the era of a 52 year Auxiliary. Before reading your article, I was hoping our approach was correct and you validated that. What a relief!! My questions are, do you have an organizational chart or a comparison chart that shows the pros and cons? What did the "new model" you refer to look like? Thank you for a very timely paper. Although I have been the director for 20 years and we have a different situation than the one you documented, the issues are the same. I'm sorry I missed the California Conference. Had I known the topic, I probably would have gone to get some additional tips. We are still maintaining "Confidentiality" at this point. Therefore, I would appreciate leaving my identity anonymous.

Thu, 02/05/2004
The pros and cons of the old model were discussed in the design meeting when the group looked at the 4 possible models. (One model was not to change at all.) The implications of all four models were discussed. The key was asking the three questions in the article: What would be missing if we did not change? (Answers mostly came from the information I gave them regarding trends and information gathered from recent assessments of the auxiliary.) Because of their attachment to the auxiliary (50 plus years) they also discussed what elements in the current program were vital to carry over to a new model and finally, if they had an opportunity to start a new volunteer program in a new hospital, what would it look like. Each group opted for the new model which would no longer have an auxiliary structure but rather an open volunteer program (non-membership) with a Manager of Volunteer Services who was dedicated to that position only. The current transition model includes an 8 member implementation advisory council(for one year) made up of the leaders of the major areas of hospital volunteering. Thus, some of the previous board members of the auxiliary are now on an advisory task force to work with the new Manager of Volunteer Services to develop the new model. The new program will interview all candidates for all positions (including people currently holding the positions) and after major training and policy development occurs, there will be major new volunteer position development and an extensive outreach to the community for new volunteers. Only 3 auxiliary members have left and it was due to illness, not because of the change. The auxiliary members are now relieved of finding people to lead the auxiliary which had basically become a recycling of members into the board of the auxiliary. The hospital administration is delighted with the new program because of concerns of liability in the previous model (no interviewing for positions, just "Who will take it?" approach) and infusion of many new volunteers to give service to many new areas of the hospital. In the auxiliary model (only previous way to volunteer in the hospital) there were the 4 traditional positions. The new model is evolving so no organizational chart yet.

Thu, 05/16/2013
Thanks Betty - I stumbled across your article as I facilitate the end of an era in AARP with the structure of our chapters and member engagement activities changing too quickly for people to adapt.