2020 Volunteer Restructure Updates

Proposed volunteer structure changes  

As the staffing structure shifts, we must align our volunteer structure as well to increase mission impact and strengthen market boards locally. This will still involve facilitating statewide collaboration and communication in the areas of impact, movement, and growth, but the approach will be more integrated at the market level. Learn more here.

As we move into 2020, we’re pleased to provide the third update on March of Dimes operating model evolution. As you know, March of Dimes must drive impact, movement, revenue growth and performance to be successful. To build a high-performing organization, we need to strengthen our foundation around structure, talent, culture, governance, technology and processes. Please visit Volunteers in Action for more specifics regarding structure changes.

First, we want to recognize the following leadership groups and volunteer leaders consulted while determining our volunteer approach:

  • National Volunteer Leadership Council (Steve Farbstein – VA, Janet Harris – MS, Vince Ford – NC, Mark Tillman – MI, Gwen Johnson – DC, Diana Ramos – CA and Donna Zimmerman – MN)

  • Board of Trustee members (Frank Wall – PA and Sharon Higgins – PA)
  • Representative group of local market board and Maternal and Child Health (MCH) committee members (Karen Harris – FL, Matthew Wallace – LA, Mitzie Warner – AZ, April Hamilton – AZ and Karen Hughes – OH)

We also want to inform you of three specific actions we’re taking and next steps:

1) Align Volunteer and Staff Structures to Increase Mission Impact

  • To ensure a strong volunteer/staff partnership and full mission integration, we must align our volunteer structures with our integrated staff teams.
  • Just as local staff will report to the Executive Director, including donor relationship managers, corporate engagement staff and MCH program staff, mission volunteers will come back under the umbrella of the local board.
  • Full mission integration will improve the quality of board discussions and our ability to deepen partnerships with donors and supporters who are moved to act based on the compelling mission of health moms and strong babies.
  • March of Dimes has had a fair amount of changes over the years, and we aim to minimize the impact of this restructure on Market Boards and our fundraising efforts. We also want to ensure the structure can be adapted locally based on each community’s market needs.

2) Strengthen Market Boards and Keep Them Local

  • All Market Boards will provide strategic guidance into local Impact, Movement and Growth efforts through the following standing committees:
    • Impact/Mission/Policy Committee to analyze local data and act on it
    • Growth Committee to link with event committees with expanded focus on major and corporate giving, stewardship and retention
    • Movement/Marketing/Engagement Committee to manage communications and engagement, donor acquisition and awareness raising
  • The board should continue to operate with a Chair/Vice Chair, Volunteer Engagement Chair, and Nominating and Recruiting Chair. There could also be special initiatives included, such as birth equity committees and NICU volunteer advisory groups
  • Responsibilities of Market Board service will continue to include financial give/get (with flexibility), but there can be non-board members on suggested standing committees
  • We don’t anticipate eliminating any existing Market Boards—just strengthening them
  • Market Board Staff Partner will be the Market Executive Director and functional leads

3) Facilitate Statewide Collaboration & Communication through Volunteer Committee Roll Up

  • Market Board Impact, Movement and Growth Committees will each meet twice a year with their counterparts across the state to share best practices and discuss strategies.
  • MCH and Advocacy volunteer leaders will be merged in all states, with the ability to select their involvement at the market level. Those options include joining a local board or local MCH/AGA committee, serving in an informal advisory capacity at the statewide level, or rolling off but remaining involved as needed.
  • Staff Lead will be the Senior Executive Director or designated staff in each area.

Next Steps:

You’ll receive a call from your Board or Committee chair or staff partner in the near future to talk more about what this plan means specifically for you. Our goal is to make this transition in the first half of the year in most locations. But where markets need more time, we can begin with smaller integration principles with a goal of merging by the end of 2020 at the latest.

We plan to revise all volunteer position descriptions and standing committee charters to clarify roles and update important planning documents, such as the Market Board guidelines and the Standards of Excellence.

It’s our goal to ensure no volunteer feels left out of the communication loop during this restructure and that they have access to information and resources through:

  • Volunteer Learning Center Website: Our dedicated homepage, Volunteers in Action, has real-time information to keep volunteers up to date
  • Volunteer Leaders Office Hours: If you have questions and would like to chat, join us on January 29 at 4 p.m. EST via Zoom https://marchofdimes.zoom.us/j/5712572311 OR 1-646-876-9923, passcode 5712572311#
  • Other touch points: 1-1 staff and volunteer calls, the Volunteer Hub and the all-volunteer quarterly calls. National Volunteer Leadership Council members will be available to provide guidance as well