Ronald Jodat wins 2015 Swigart Board Leadership Award for 15 years of service to IndependenceFirst.
Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey is currently a Masters candidate in Education at Alverno College and a Reading Corps volunteer, in its inaugural year in Milwaukee, at Gwen T. Jackson Early Education and Elementary School.
By Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey, Guest Blogger
It’s that time of year again! The Nonprofit Center of Milwaukee is accepting nominations for the Inspire by Example Awards. Who will win the awards for outstanding adult, youth and team volunteers in 2016? Maybe you know the volunteer coordinator, leader, or business that will be honored this year.
Find details for submitting a nomination here. But why should you take the time to nominate? I recently had a conversation with Ana Kleppin, Volunteer Manager for IndependenceFirst and nominator of last year’s winner of the Swigart Board Leadership Award, Ron Jodat. My conversation with her inspired the Top 5 Reasons to Nominate for the 2016 Inspire by Example Awards.
#1 Get to know your volunteers better. Last year Kleppin chatted with Jodat informally about what motivated him to commit to 15 years of service on the board of IndependenceFirst. Unbeknownst to him, she was fishing for food for thought to write his nomination. Unbeknownst to her, she gained valuable reflection time about the inner thoughts of one of her most dedicated volunteers. Whether you are nominating an individual, team or business, the process of nominating for these awards provides space to reflect on who your volunteers are and what makes them tick. Who knows what you will discover?
#2 Show appreciation. Nominating and receiving this award gave Kleppin and IndependenceFirst the opportunity to show their appreciation in a tangible way. “When a volunteer’s service is acknowledged, especially with such a prestigious award like this, you empower them with the confidence and motivation to keep volunteering. I believe that receiving this award showed Ron the depth of our appreciation and gratitude for his generous donation of time, talent and energy in support of our mission,” explained Kleppin.
#3 Energize your organization. Winning an award starts a ripple effect of pride and invigoration to continue the mission of your organization. According to Kleppin, “When our volunteers are recognized by others in the community, it energizes us and renews our efforts to keep growing and improving our volunteer program.”
#4 Promote volunteerism. “Recognizing and acknowledging the efforts of volunteers validates the importance of their service,” Kleppin reminds us. The people who win these awards are motivated by something much more than money. Help promote dedication to the community!
#5 Why not? The possibility to gain the rewards of appreciation and promotion are great. There is nothing to lose! “The question should be, ‘why wouldn’t you nominate your volunteers?’” Kleppin said. “Going through the process of nominating your volunteers for recognition is a rewarding experience. I learned so much about Ron Jodat that I didn’t know before. I saw Ron in a new light and now have a deeper appreciation for all his many skills and talents.” Kleppin even challenged her organization to nominate in all of the categories this year. Why not take this opportunity to recognize the great service around you?
Find information about how to nominate here. Nominations due Fri., January 29.