What does 100% volunteer actually mean?

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the TIME, they just have the HEART”

Elizabeth Andrew

BMBAN is proudly a 100% volunteer organisation, run entirely by member volunteers. The quote above sums up our volunteers to perfection.

But what does it actually take to run our organisation and to have kept it running for 44 years? It’s been a long time since we’ve sat down and thought about this.

So, here’s the summary no one asked for, but we’re giving to you anyway. Because sometimes everyone needs a reminder of just how hard our past and present volunteers have worked.

Executive and formal functions

Our Executive (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary) remain responsible for the management of BMBAN in accordance with our Constitution, By-Laws, any legislative framework / guidelines, and in accordance with good and proper accounting and financial practice. It’s a mouthful, and it’s a lot of work. Some of this includes:

  • Annual reporting to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC)
  • Annual reporting to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT)
  • Annual independent financial auditing and certifying the accuracy and completeness of the Club’s financial records
  • Ensuring all payments and invoices are processed with dual approval (i.e. every payment has to be authorised by two people)
  • Keeping up to date with any changes to not-for-profit governing guidelines
  • In conjunction with our amazing bookkeeper, reconciling EVERY SINGLE payment received and made to ensure that our bookkeeping is up-to-date and accurate
  • In conjunction with our lovely Membership Secretary, ensuring that we have an accurate record of all members, all Committee Members, details of Committee Members’ start / end dates and service terms and full contact details for all members
  • Ensuring that the Club remains financially viable and has sufficient funds to operate and pay all of its expenses into the future
  • Coordinating all of the roles performed by other general Committee Members
  • Conducting and running monthly Committee Meetings, organising and running the Annual General Meeting (AGM)
  • Conducting an Annual Planning Meeting, preparation of a budget for the Club and coordination of activities and events in line with the budgetary constraints of the Club
  • Keeping detailed and accurate records of the Club – including minutes of meetings and attendance registers.
  • Applying for a variety of Grants – many of which contain very specific application processes, and requirements
  • Ensuring we have adequate insurance
  • Maintaining the goals and objectives of the Club and ensuring that we provide value for money to our members

This list certainly isn’t exhaustive. The time spent by key Committee Members on these tasks is extensive – a number of hours each week at its peak with increased workload in the lead up to certain events and reporting timeframes.

Other roles

In conjunction with the Executive, the balance of our Committee performs a wide variety of functions critical to the day-to-day running of the Club.

Every single event, every single function and and every single social media post, blog post (like this one!), website update, poster, trailer of goods loaded has been completed by a volunteer. Everything. Every time you see a member volunteering their time to set up or run an event, have a think about what’s also behind that – someone else at home coordinating kids or other home functions, while our volunteer helps out on site. Amazing. It’s like double the volunteer (it seems double (or triple!) is something our members are quite clever with, apparently!).

Every time you see a member hosting a playgroup, remember, they are volunteering every minute of their own time to be there. Every toy they clean afterwards, every cupboard they pack away, all on their own time.

Every post that is written about an event. Every event that has been coordinated. Every single activity that we do or advertise, has been created by a volunteer.

Every time you ask a question, someone is there to answer.

Have a think about all of these:

  • The time, effort and resources that have gone into creating, refining and presenting our Expectant Parents’ Night – so much invaluable information and every single minute volunteered over many, many years.
  • Every message and phone call to an overwhelmed parent of multiples – the conversations, the coffees, the support and the care.
  • Every event that we promote has been coordinated by a volunteer – sourcing venues, third party suppliers, equipment, resources, managing COVID-19 compliance and restrictions, coordinating volunteers to set up and pack up, messages and phone calls, emails, text messages. Everything.
  • How many grants we have applied for in the past – every single application requiring unique information and submissions. Every single one requiring quotes from vendors and suppliers – every email, every phone call following that up, every single time the application is denied, despite the hard work.
  • The website you’re looking at – built and maintained entirely by a volunteer with zero experience in IT or web development. The domains that are managed across our public website and our Tidy HQ member site. The email and electronic filing system maintained by our committee members.
  • The conversations with bereaved families.
  • Coordinating the social media pages – responding to queries and requests on our member pages, ensuring that our member page is up to date, advertising functions and events across all of our member pages, managing and posting on our social media channels.
  • Scheduling and running monthly Committee meetings, contributing to those committee meetings with ideas and information. Giving up that hour or two of your time every single month to contribute to our amazing Club.
  • Media releases, coordinating with other public resources that can assist in promoting the club
  • Requesting and securing every single member discount
  • Coordinating delivery of goods and equipment to members in need. Reaching out to local businesses for their help and assistance for member families.
  • Answering member questions. Answering non-member questions. Monitoring the Club’s phone.
  • Organising our mum / dad catch ups – and negotiating time off with whoever is left at home!
  • Handing over roles between departing and incoming Committee members.
  • Running the Bunnings BBQ (and not burning the snags!)
  • Managing the storage shed, making sure we have adequate equipment and resources on hand, when needed. Grabbing equipment and delivering it to members when they need it.
  • All of the COVID-19 requirements and restrictions – making sure we comply with every single directive.

Again, this list isn’t exhaustive in any way. And it changes, week-by-week, month-by-month, year-by-year. But if you count those hours up… WOWSERS!

So, to our past and present volunteers, you are amazing. We couldn’t be prouder to be amongst you all. And to any of our members who haven’t yet had the chance to volunteer, please consider putting your hand up – because without volunteers, we can’t continue on for the next 44 years.

Much love xx

Published by bmbanorthside

BMBAN is a non-profit, 100% volunteer organisation established in 1977 to support multiple birth families on Brisbane's Northside.

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