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 members. The quote above sums up our volunteers to perfection.

But what does it actually take to run our organisation and to keep it running for 44 years? Quite simply? A lot of hard work.

Executive and governance 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 requirements, and in accordance with sound financial practice. It’s a mouthful, and it’s a lot of work. Some of these tasks include:

  • 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 certification of financial records
  • Processing payments with dual approval (i.e. every payment is authorised by two people)
  • Keeping up to date with any changes to the not-for-profit governing guidelines
  • In conjunction with our amazing bookkeeper, reconciling every single payment received
  • In conjunction with our lovely Membership Secretary, recording particulars of all members, Committee Members and periods of service
  • Budgeting to ensure the Club remains financially viable
  • Coordinating the roles performed by the other general Committee Members
  • Conducting and running monthly Committee Meetings, as well as the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Annual Planning Meeting
  • Maintaining minutes of meetings and attendance registers.
  • Applying for grants, with many applications taking many hours of preparation and drafting
  • Ensuring we have adequate insurance
  • Maintaining the goals and objectives of the Club and providing 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 peak times, with increased workload in the lead up to certain events and reporting timeframes.

Day-to-day functions

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 (like this one!), website update, poster and trailer of goods loaded has been prepared by a volunteer. Everything. Every time you see a member volunteering to set up or run an event, there is someone else at home coordinating kids or other home functions. Amazing. It’s like double the volunteer (it seems giving double (or triple!) is something our members are quite clever at, 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 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 we promote has been coordinated by a volunteer – sourcing venues, third party suppliers, equipment, 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 – 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 heartbreaking 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
  • 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!)
  • Maintaining the storage shed, making sure we have adequate equipment and resources on hand, when needed. Collecting 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… WOW!

So, to our past and present volunteers, you are amazing. We are so proud to be amongst you all. And to any members who hasn’t yet volunteered, 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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