By Brandi McGrath Kong, Director of Member Services & Conferences
“How can I get involved nationally?”
This is a question that comes up periodically. Members love the work they are doing locally with their club and want to take it to the next level. Or maybe they are a National or National Life member without a home club and want to find ways to engage as a volunteer. Here are four ways you can get involved in national leadership and/or volunteerism:
Contact your Regional Director. Each region has its own elected Regional Director who is there to help address the needs of members in a specific geographical area. While the responsibility of the national board is to serve the needs of all members and the national organization as a whole, Regional Directors serve as more local contacts for members with questions, concerns and ideas. If you are looking for ways you can get started in national-level service, reach out to your Regional Director. They are going to know about open opportunities and ones that might be upcoming. They may also have ideas on how you can get involved in regional programs and events.
Let headquarters know. We won’t know you are interested unless you tell us! Be specific as possible when you are communicating with us. Let us know what area(s) you would like to get involved in and what you have experience with that might be helpful. We may not always have the perfect opportunity right away, but when we have an inventory of willing volunteers at our fingertips, we are better able to fill positions quickly and get started on projects and committees right away. You can let us know of your interest by emailing Executive Director Jason Camis at email@example.com (Sertoma and HCOA) or Brandi McGrath Kong at firstname.lastname@example.org (Sertoma only). If you are more interested in mission or fundraising work, please reach out to Brian Riegel at email@example.com.
Attend National Conference. This is the best place to interact with national leadership and staff face-to-face. When you attend this annual event, you not only have the opportunity to network with the people most often charged with leading national-level volunteer opportunities, but you also have the ability to learn firsthand about the new and changing programs, committees, events and more that are happening and are forthcoming. This year’s National Conference in Charlotte, NC, will be held on October 13-14, so watch for registration announcements early this summer.
Watch for election information. Each fall, Sertoma will announce a list of important dates regarding national elections. If you are interested in serving on the national board, you will want to note this schedule to ensure you are meeting all deadlines. The first deadline is typically the notice of candidacy to the Executive Director that occurs in mid-January.
So there you go – four ways you can get involved in national volunteerism and leadership! The biggest piece of advice that I can give is to speak up! We are ready to help find you a place to serve, even if it takes a little time to find the perfect fit.