I think the difference is roles. In a chapter, people need roles, titles, and some description of what they do. I'm learning the same thing in my "day job" as a volunteer coordinator. Apparently, if you can't put the job on a business card, no one wants it. And I certainly can't blame people for that. In a large group, there would be a few "officers" and many regular members. But in a group as small as ours, it would be ideal for most active members to have some sort of defined role. It doesn't have to be something major-- any defined role (such as "the E-mail Czar sends reminder e-mails to people about meetups a week before they happen") would be a good start. Here, I'll brainstorm some roles that AVEN chapters might be able to use. I'll start with myself:
- Head of Local Chapter: This is the hardest role to define, probably because I've already technically been doing it. I feel like this person should organize the rest of the "officers", plan official meetings, and figure out the direction of the group (with input from others, of course). What else?
- Public Relations: Dealing with the media-- writing press releases, keeping up press contacts, writing articles, making sure we do stuff that people would be interested in writing about.
- Community Outreach: Dealing with other community groups and finding ways to reach more potential members.
- Fundraising and Special Events: Pretty self-explanatory.
Of course there would be other roles, too, of varying levels. The possibilities are really endless. They're only limited right now by my imagination and impending carpal tunnel syndrome.
I know that some of us, myself included, have wished that AVEN could be our full-time job. Maybe that will happen someday, but we can't be a more official organization unless people have roles. That seems to be the beginning and end of it. So, at the risk of over-using a word, if you could have any role, in AVEN internationally or in a local chapter, what would it be? Let your imagination run wilder than mine seems to be capable of at the moment.
(Also, you get a virtual brownie if you know what the title of this post is a reference to.)