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MAVA Monthly Membership Spotlight: Dan Bohnker

Staff | Published on 8/17/2022

Name: Dan Bohnker

Position: Volunteer Resources and Respite Coordinator

Organization: FamilyMeans

MAVA member Since:

Please describe your volunteer program:

FamilyMeans is a multiservice organization that uses volunteers in a variety of different ways. The first is respite care. Our volunteers help give caregivers a break by providing respite care for their care receiver. We have both options at our location and in-home respite care. We also have two youth programs sites that volunteers can be apart of. We also have volunteers helping in the office, fundraising and other misc. tasks.

What is your role?

My role includes all things volunteering related which recruiting, training, helping find where the volunteers best fit in at FamilyMeans and making sure are volunteers feel supported. I also help lead our Night Out Respite Program. 

How did you get involved in Volunteer Management?

After college I signed up for a yearlong volunteer program through Young Adult Volunteers. During that year I worked at a disaster assistance center mostly recruiting and managing other volunteers. I really enjoyed it so I applied for jobs where I would get to coordinator and manage volunteers. My first volunteer coordinating job was at a foodbank in Iowa until I accepted my current position at FamilyMeans. 

What does it mean to you to be a MAVA member?

Being a MAVA member means that I am connected to people in similar roles who I can network and learn from. It also means being able to have the resources and trainings available to me to be the best volunteer coordinator I can be.  

Can you recall a time when being a MAVA member directly impacted your work in your organization? What were the outcomes of MAVA's impact?

One of the MAVA secessions FamilyMeans attended gave us really good advice for finding volunteers. One piece of advice that was particularly helpful was to recruit from clients you use our services. So far, we have used this advice to recruit 3 long term volunteers. Including one who has volunteered in a role that has been hard to fill. 

Do you have any advice for new MAVA members, or new leaders of volunteers?

My advice is to remember that volunteers have lots of options of how to spend their time. So, make sure they know just how important they are to your organization and make sure they such a good experience they want to come back.