Feb 092013

On February 5, we sat down to discuss volunteering with the SEA. The summary of the meeting is below, but if you’re already interested, the list of things that people could be working on is here and the form to let us know what you’re interested in is here. We’ll get people interested in similar things together in groups and make sure that everyone feels like they have the knowledge and support to get going.

Currently, within the SEA, most of the events and activities are organized by members of the Board of Directors. The SEA is large enough at this point (66 paid members in 2012) that the Board would like to spend more of their time on the big picture, and see more of the activities organized by the general membership.

All the activities undertaken by the SEA should meet the mission statement:

The Society of Edmonton Atheists fosters a community among atheists, agnostics and freethinkers through discussion, constructive activism, education and philanthropy.

We also had a survey a few weeks ago to determine what people thought of our strategic planning goals. In order of votes, they are:

  • Advocate for secular issues
  • Obtain and retain members
  • Introduce the SEA and atheism to the public
  • Improve event variety, organization and frequency
  • Communicate for the benefit of our members
  • Organize philanthropic activities
  • Active fundraising (casino application, grants)
  • Promote better Board functioning

At the volunteer meeting, we discussed barriers that could be preventing people from volunteering. The possible reasons discussed were:

  • Not aware of activities (not on Facebook, or not regularly checking the website)
  • Money vs. Time
  • Need better communication with members
  • Lack of feedback when someone does volunteer
  • Not part of the discussions on Facebook / not in the loop
  • Lack of action on webpage makes it look like there isn’t much going on
  • Feel like there’s a lack of ideas
  • Organization
  • Transportation to events/meetings
  • Happy with how things are now
  • Didn’t realize help was needed
  • Are our time and skills being used well?
  • Work / family commitments
  • Feel like we don’t have the skills/knowledge to contribute

We then went through the list of activities that people could be working on and informal discussions while people who were interested in volunteering filled in their forms.

So, what can you do to help? Let us know what you’re interested in. We’ll get in touch with you and put together teams of people with similar interests/goals (or you can work alone). We’ll provide you with all the support and resources we can to make sure that the team feels like they have the knowledge and mandate to go get things done.