Introducing the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group

Introducing the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group

AFS-USA established the National Council, Advisory Groups, and Committees to create a space where AFS volunteers and staff can work together to address organizational needs and/or challenges from a national perspective. These national volunteer groups are forums where AFS staff and volunteers representing different areas of expertise, knowledge, skills, and talents can review different areas of the organization and develop recommendations for how we can improve the processes, tools, and/or resources needed to effectively deliver and support our AFS programs, volunteers, communities, and participants. The article below introduces one of the groups!

It is not a coincidence that members of the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group call themselves “Sparklers”, as volunteerism is one of the key ingredients that make AFS Intercultural Programs “Sparkle”. Volunteerism in AFS is one of the core values of our organization. The impact our programs have had across the globe is made possible through a global network of 50,000+ volunteers, and is one of the many factors that separates AFS from most exchange organizations in the field. Volunteers make the AFS experience unique, not just for our participants and host families, but also for our schools and local communities.

The Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group works to support our teams and chapters in creating positive and meaningful experiences for all volunteers in AFS-USA. This includes developing recommendations and tools to help AFS-USA and local volunteer teams support their volunteer needs from recruitment to engagement to integration to succession. All while ensuring that the steps on this volunteer journey are fun and rewarding. 

In 2023, the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group are working on creating resources and ideas to help teams:

  • Create opportunities and social events for volunteers
  • Review and improve current volunteer resource materials and communications
  • Create a roadmap to include a list of beginner, intermediate and advance tasks that Volunteer Engagement Coordinators can use when matching new and current volunteers with different activities in their team

Some of the tools and resources that the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group have created to help teams with their volunteer engagement are:

The Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group is here to support YOU, as a volunteer, as a member of your local AFS Chapter or AFS Team, with resources, ideas, and tools to make it possible for all volunteers in AFS-USA  to see, share, and brighten their “Sparkle”. Collectively, all of our “Sparkles” shine a bright light on the significant impact our AFS programs, participants, and AFS mission has across the globe.

The members of the Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group are a group of volunteers and staff representing areas across the country who are dedicated to volunteer engagement. Most of the volunteer members of this group are Volunteer Engagement Coordinators in their teams. Although they are not currently recruiting new members to this group, if you are interested, motivated, focused on volunteer engagement in your team and enjoy collaborating with a fellow group of “Sparklers”, there is always room for more. If interested, please complete the following form using the link below.

Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group Interest Form