Episode 305 - How Remote Volunteering Gave this Organization an Edge!

Michele Wiesner of Hire Heroes USA shares how her organization was given an “edge” when it comes to engaging volunteers during a pandemic and how they have been growing capacity through remote volunteering since 2005.

Hire Heroes USA provides employment assistance services to thousands of transitioning military members each year. Through personalized service and support, they help veterans and military spouses get hired, and they help companies hire and retain them.

As the director of capacity building, Michele leads a team of six full-time volunteer program managers who are responsible for engaging and supporting volunteers in their regions. As opposed to many volunteer-driven organizations who’ve had to pivot to online volunteerism, Hire Heroes has always operated this way.  Some staff, however, have had to make the transition from working in an office to working from home.

Rather than making big changes during COVID, they had to make more subtle adjustments to their mature digital volunteer strategy.  And, staff have had to catch up with volunteers.

In this episode, Michele shares how her team has made pivots and how they managed their exponential growth (triple the number of volunteer applications during COVID!) by focusing on building relationships, offering meaningful roles to supporters, and remaining flexible in their approach.

For more information, visit https://www.hireheroesusa.org/ and all social channels @hireheroesusa.

To explore volunteer opportunities with Hire Heroes, visit https://www.hireheroesusa.org/volunteer/.

For More:

For more info on preparing and supporting a fully remote volunteer team, check out Season 1 of the Time + Talent podcast, Episode 107: Digital Team Building with Remote Volunteers.

Guest Bio:

Michele Wiesner
Director, Capacity Building
Hire Heroes USA

Michele Wiesner, Director of Capacity Building, is responsible for the growth, direction and results of service delivery support programs, including the Volunteer Program, Alumni Program and Referral & Training Partners Program. These support programs serve to increase organizational reach, influence,effectiveness and efficiency through partnerships and supporters. 

Michele earned a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the University of Georgia,and she also holds a Certification in Volunteer Administration (CVA). Michele joined Hire Heroes USA full time in 2012 as the organization’s first Volunteer Coordinator, responsible for the creation of the Volunteer Program. She was promoted to Manager in 2013 and then to Director of the Volunteer Programin late 2015. In 2019, she took on the responsibility of serving as the Director of Capacity Building to strengthen our mission through productive partnerships. 

She grew up in Georgia and currently resides just east of Athens with her husband, a veteran of the U.S. Army.

You can find Michele at mwiesner@hireheroesusa.org or finer her on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/michelewiesner/.

For more on Michele's local professional association, the Georgia Association for Volunteer Administration, visit https://www.mygava.org/.

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