Goodman Community Center | Learning from Goodman Volunteers

Learning from Goodman Volunteers

A summary of results from our 2024 Volunteer Impact Survey

April 30, 2024 |
Text on image is a quote from a Goodman volunteer: When I give my time, I also receive the connections I make.

We value the time, energy and talents volunteers share and we want to improve our processes as much as we can from year to year. In January and February, Goodman staff conducted our annual Volunteer Impact Survey. We shared the survey electronically and on paper with as many volunteers as we could.

We wanted to learn overall how satisfied volunteers are with their experience at Goodman. More specifically, our questions were framed to investigate how fulfilling volunteering is for folks, the level of effectiveness they feel about their work, as well as how appreciated and recognized they are at Goodman. Finally, we hoped to learn where and to whom they feel connected and a sense of community.

Overall, we learned about what motivates volunteers to keep coming back to GCC and what they value about their experience. This information will help us improve how we recruit, train, and support volunteers at GCC.

1. Self-growth and learning are major motivations for continuing to volunteer with GCC.

Over 95% of respondents agree or strongly agree that volunteering at GCC is fulfilling. When asked what volunteers “take away from the volunteer experience” and “what keeps you coming back,” many volunteers described their own growth and learning about themselves and others as their motivation for continuing to volunteer.

  • “Two things: greater compassion for others and the importance of listening to others.”
  • “It’s a joy to have my assumptions and preconceived notions proven wrong! It reminds me that the world and its people are so complex!”
  • “When I give my time, I also receive the connections I make.”

2. Connection and a value of diversity are common feelings among our volunteers.

Additionally, volunteers overwhelmingly shared about the connections between volunteers, staff and participants and the value of diversity in our communities. When we asked volunteers’ reaction to the statement “I feel part of GCC or my program team,” 96% agreed.

  • “I’ve learned that everyone laughs in the same language.”
  • “Volunteering at GCC is an important part of my life, and I look forward to it every week. The staff, fellow volunteers, and people who I serve have all been wonderful and seeing them each week is the best! I’ve learned how important it is to help others with food security, friendship and being part of a caring community.”
  • “There are many people from many walks of life in our community and each one of them brings value.”

“I’ve learned how important it is to help others with food security, friendship and being part of a caring community.”

3. Volunteering fosters increased awareness of community need and GCC resources.

Finally, through the responses volunteers spoke of their heightened awareness of community need and the resources Goodman provides.

  • “How great the need is in our community across all demographics.”
  • “I’ve learned a little about community support and how an active community evolves.”
  • “I have learned how much ... GCC staff put into partnering with community organizations, businesses and individuals to provide food and get the word out about the need. Also, how the families/individuals that are served also come to the pantry with many other human needs that GCC may not be equipped to provide.”

Areas we will work to improve:

We are always seeking ways to improve our volunteer experience and thus the experience for community members who come to Goodman for support. With these survey responses in mind, we’ll be...

  • Adding information to volunteer onboarding for the food pantry and childcare programs.
  • Creating additional tools to help volunteers navigate our volunteer website.
  • Continuing to do all the things that volunteers tell us contribute to their positive experiences.
  • Finding ways for volunteers to help across programs and take on more responsibility.

For more information about volunteering at Goodman contact:

Susan Ramspacher

Volunteer Manager
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