There are many ways to measure the health and vitality of a professional association. The most crucial indicators, I’ve found, center on the engagement of an organization’s volunteers. This can be measured in the number of volunteer opportunities provided, the number of members who sign up, and the level of satisfaction they get from volunteering.
On these counts, I’m proud to say, the Academy does very well. Over the years, AMCP has offered a multitude of volunteer opportunities, and has never had trouble finding members to fill the slots.
This happy state of affairs was born out in a recent survey by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Foundation, which asked more than 25,210 volunteers at more than 50 nonprofit associations, including AMCP, about their volunteer experience.
By virtually every measurement, we exceeded our peers. Let me share a few examples.
Over the past five years, a full 72 percent of AMCP’s current volunteers said they had provided mentoring, coaching or tutoring opportunities for their peers, students and others. By contrast only 51 percent of all other current association volunteers did.
To me this demonstrates that AMCP understands the value of fostering the next generation of managed care pharmacy professionals. This can be seen in our robust diplomat program, which pairs members with local schools of pharmacy. This also can be seen in our popular residency program, which pairs up working professionals with postgraduate pharmacists. And finally it can be seen in our booming “conference buddy” program, which pairs long-time AMCP members with new members at our national meetings.
Our members also start volunteering soon after joining, another very positive sign. Among AMCP members of three to five years, one in five said they had volunteered for the Academy, compared with only 13 percent of those at all other nonprofits. And our members continue to stay involved, volunteering at rates higher than other associations six to nine years out.
But perhaps the best indicator is that AMCP volunteers expressed high levels of satisfaction!
AMCP volunteers ranked their volunteer experience at 4.71 on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “very satisfied.” The average of all association volunteers was 4.37, by contrast. And on the question of whether their volunteering made a “meaningful difference in the profession,” AMCP members ranked their experience at 4.61, compared with 4.21 of all other current volunteers. Similarly, when asked if their association provides volunteer experiences that “motivate me and make me want to be engaged,” AMCP volunteers indicated a 4.39, versus 3.88 for the rest of the volunteers.
AMCP provides many different volunteer experiences that engage and stimulate our membership. In fact, if we have any shortfall, it’s in finding enough slots to meet the demand. This is a challenge that we’re always working to address. Members looking to volunteer shouldn’t overlook our Conference Buddy program, which is always looking for mentors; AMCP student chapters at your alma mater or nearby pharmacy school could always use another involved practitioner.
Best of all, AMCP currently is soliciting volunteers! To find out more about AMCP’s volunteer opportunities, visit www.amcp.org/volunteer. I’d like to extend a big heartfelt thank you to all of our volunteers!