By: Sarah Lindstrom
Meeting with Meals and Wheels Waco’s nutrition director, Debbie King, and volunteer director, Laura Ziemer, revealed to our team a need for volunteers.
After assessing Meals and Wheels strengths and areas for improvements we agreed upon a goal to increase and maintain volunteers.
While our goal is rather broad we had to begin with a general idea and then narrow down our goal into smaller more measurable, timely and achievable objectives.
To reach our goal we hope to meet the following objectives:
- Increase volunteer rate and retention by 15% by the end of the 2017 calendar year.
- Increase the number of Baylor Student volunteers by the end of the 2017 calendar year.
- Develop a relationship with Baylor Academic departments to guarantee volunteers for Summer 2017.
- Utilize social media to share information about volunteer opportunities and reach younger demographics.
- To create greater awareness of what Meals and Wheels Waco offers to the local community through church visits, social media and advertising.
Our objectives are specific and time oriented because we want to be able to measure our effectiveness as well show our achievements over time.
With an increase in clients there also comes a need for increase in volunteers, with the increase in clients being about 15% we would like our volunteer numbers to increase by the same amount in the 2017 calendar year.
Meals and Wheels Waco volunteers tend to be around the same age as their current clients. Many retired individuals like to volunteer in their newfound free time.
While Meals and Wheels Waco loves their volunteers we feel they are missing out on reaching a younger demographic, Baylor University students. Some Baylor students even take classes that require service ours, hours they could be fulfilling through Meals on Wheels.
Unfortunately, many students go home for summer vacation leaving yet another gap in the volunteer to client ratio. However, pairing with the individual departments at Baylor and utilizing professors who live in Waco year round would help to fill in that gap.
Social media is a wonderful way to reach younger demographics and help facilitate interactions with the Baylor and greater Waco community.
Increasing awareness in the Waco community will be another tool to help increase volunteers. Meals and Wheels Waco used to frequent churches in search for volunteers. We want to increase these visits and utilize social media and advertising in the community to booster awareness even more.
Overall, our goals are targeted at gaining a new volunteer demographic while striving to maintain current volunteers.