RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association is a patient advocacy organization dedicated to reproductive health and infertility issues. Every spring, RESOLVE partners with the American Society for Reproductive Medicine to host an annual Federal Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., with more than 200 participants from the family-building community connecting with elected officials on Capitol Hill. This event requires substantial support and assistance from dedicated volunteer committee members.
Prior to 2020, there was no streamlined recruitment process for new volunteers. Around 20 volunteers from across the country were on the committee. After we quickly transformed the 2020 Advocacy Day program from a live to a virtual event due to COVID-19, attendance jumped 75 percent and for the first time ever included representation from all 50 states — resulting in an increased interest in volunteering.
To make the 2021 Committee as inclusive and welcoming as possible and to accommodate anyone who wanted to join, we transformed the volunteer recruitment process and committee structure. We set up a required informational webinar where interested volunteers could learn about expectations and ask questions. Additionally, we instituted a mandatory application process that required all interested volunteers to fill out their areas of interest, time commitment, and skills, so we could them more accurately match them to volunteer opportunities.
“I was initially concerned that the required webinar and application process might discourage potential volunteers, but instead engagement boomed,” said MCI USA talent Tracie Sullivan, who serves as RESOLVE’S Grassroots Outreach Manager. “I’ve learned that providing volunteers with set expectations and specific roles really makes a difference in ensuring volunteers feel that their time is valued and their skillsets are utilized in an effective way.”