Mar 14, 2013- 12:08 PM
Coming out of social work school, I lacked the supervisory or leadership skills that I needed to manage volunteers and to work with the staff and board.
That’s when I learned about the Leadership Development Program (LDP) at United Way.
The program offered low-cost professional development to staff and volunteers of non-profit agencies in our community, which I thought was wonderful for me and just what I needed. So, I signed up.
Am I glad I did. The trainers made the learning fun and it opened my eyes to adult-learning principles. The topics ranged from recruiting, training and working with board members and volunteers, to planning fundraisers and writing proposals.
Attending the workshops was instant community networking that linked me to others in similar roles in the community. I also learned about new funding opportunities and shared resources with other participants.
With the help of LDP, I became much more effective leading an agency and I was able to use those skills to raise awareness about Big Sisters in Sudbury.
I was so impressed, a few years later I completed the “Train the Trainer” program for LDP and became a trainer myself. I had volunteered for many organizations in the past, but I wanted to take my volunteering to the next level.
Again, I’m glad I did. I was able to hone my public speaking skills. My existing skills were ratcheted up a notch. I could be creative, develop leadership skills and stretch myself — all while helping others.
Years later, I still love it. I get to work with an amazing group of trainers and staff at United Way and learn more about what’s going on in the city. Plus, my leadership skills continue to develop.
Best of all, I get to work with people in our community who are trying to make Greater Sudbury a greater place to live.
Paying it forward — that’s, volunteering at its finest.
United Way is currently accepting applications for Leadership Development Program volunteers.
Those with experience training adults, a background in human resources, finance, legal issues, board development, volunteer or staff management, or any other area that may support the voluntary sector, we have a great volunteer opportunity for you!
Please visit unitedwaysudbury.com or contact Linda Dupuis at 705-560-3330 ext 222 for more details.
Sandi Emdin has been a United Way volunteer for over ten years, both as a Citizens Advisory Panel volunteer and as a Leadership Development Program volunteer.