Recognition is important in any volunteer organization. Our talented volunteers play in important role in SCORE's mission and success. They are what makes SCORE the flourishing organization that it is today. In 2013, SCORE National implemented the Volunteer Spotlight program to showcase our amazing volunteers to the rest of the organization. More recently they have been encouraging local chapters to adopt a recognition program to recognize volunteers who go 'above and beyond.'
To this end, we had a conversation with Steve Crumrine, our Chapter's Committee Chair for Volunteer Engagement, to learn about the history of the chapter and the evolution of the SCORE volunteer. Although only being a member of the chapter since 2012, Steve was able to offer some insights into our almost 40 years as a chapter.
The Chester County chapter had its first mentoring space in an office of the Chester County Economic Development Commission. (That building was located where the Wawa on Rt. 100, north of Exton stands today.) But it was thanks to that connection with Gary Smith, the CEO of the CCEDC, who went to bat for the chapter and recommended the Chester County Commissioners develop a relationship with SCORE. He believed the organization brought economic value to the county. The end result was the county awarding SCORE space in their new Government Center along with financial support.
It was under Steve's leadership in 2015, that SCORE of Delaware County was merged. At the time, Chester County had 85 volunteers, whereas Delaware County had 4. The district chairmen believed that combining the chapters would help strengthen SCORE's presence in Delaware County and lead to a more robust organization. Our team was recognized as "2014 Chapter of the Year,'" and the volunteer profile was changing around that time. We had the opportunity to bring the best of the Chapter to both Counties and grow our client base.
Service Core of Retired Executives, which began 56 years ago and now simply goes by SCORE, was historically an organization made up of primarily male, end of career, C-suite individuals ready to share their business planning and strategic outlook. Today, the 109 chapter volunteers not only look different as far as gender, ethnicity, and business experience, 40% are still actively working, whether part-time or full-time. New Volunteers were adding skills important to our clients, including marketing. Opportunities for mentoring are no longer simply face-to-face meetings, but include email and video chats. There is also a recognition that the cookie-cutter approach to business development is no longer acceptable. Flexibility in approach is necessary to meet the diverse needs of today's small businesses.
As our Chapter grows - Volunteers, Clients, Community Partners - we know that recognizing our Volunteers is an easy way to show our appreciation and to acknowledge the accomplishments of a dedicated team. What does it mean to "go above and beyond"? It is not simply those who take on the role of chapter leadership, or those who replaced their full-time job with full-time SCORE responsibilities. Steve recommends considering those who are consistently reliable. Individuals you can call on when something needs to be done with minimal notice and be confident it will get done. Likewise, volunteers who continue to impact the business community in ways that cannot be quantified should not be overlooked. With the average SCORE tenure being 3 years, our chapter is fortunate to have volunteers who far exceed that lifespan and make the chapter strong as a result.
Criteria for "above and beyond" Volunteers in our Chapter Spotlight
You may even want to recommend someone who...
✔ Readily adjusts his/her schedule to lead or join a project team to help our Chapter solve an issue, develop a new program, or recommend improvements
✔ Helps us recruit new talented Volunteers and/or new small businesses or entrepreneurs as Clients, just by sharing the SCORE story as he/she mentors or educates at a seminar
✔ Is working tirelessly behind the scenes on important systems maintenance or upgrades
✔ Coaches new Volunteers so that they can quickly feel welcomed and engaged in our great Chapter
✔ Brings a specialized skill to the team and is helping to spread that knowledge across more and more Volunteers and Clients
✔ Works in the community to raise much needed funds to support our educational platforms and events
You get the idea...we are so lucky to have our talented and energized volunteers!
Please share your recommendation with Steve Crumrine. Thank you.