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Profiles in Giving

Volunteer Spotlight: Volunteer Management Team

One of Many

The entry for "volunteer" in the Tufts Encyclopedia could easily be accompanied by a picture of Josh Fox, A98. The attorney with the Boston-area firm of WilmerHale is a member of the Tufts Alumni Council and vice president of Tufts Lawyers Association. He chaired Law Day for three years and has served as vice chair of the Alumni Weekend Committee, among other alumni committee roles.

"I am proud to have gone to Tufts and thoroughly enjoyed my four years there, so I have tried to give back to the university since graduation," Fox states.

Says Jonathan Kaplan, A96, associate director of alumni relations, "If you ask for his help, he is always willing to give it."

Appreciating Value

Tufts has 2,000 Josh Foxes. It is the university's good fortune to draw on a loyal network of alumni who go above and beyond to lend their time and talents to their alma mater. However, because the university had no systematic approach in place, volunteer management in the past has been left largely to the discretion of individual staff members and their immediate managers.

To ensure that best use is being made of volunteers' efforts and expertise in advancing Tufts' institutional goals, an initiative recently was launched by the university's Advancement Division to take stock of Tufts volunteer programs.

The Team

The 10-person Volunteer Management Team chaired by Jeff Winey, principal gifts director, and Julie O'Connor, assistant director of alumni relations, drafted recommendations to make volunteer management an integral and valuable component of advancement operations at Tufts.

Those recommendations included evaluating all volunteer programs to ensure they are aligned with the mission of the institution; requiring job descriptions for every volunteer opportunity; educating all frontline staff so they are prepared to recruit volunteers; and creating a university-wide volunteer coordinator position.

The recommendations are expected to be implemented in the coming year. Allison Norton, former director of annual giving and alumni relations at the School of Dental Medicine, will lead the project.

"In the last 10 years the use of volunteers within University Advancement has grown tremendously," says team co-chair Winey. "Volunteers make a significant, positive impact on the institution and the Tufts community as a whole. The hope is not only to strengthen these valuable programs but to enhance the overall experience for all Tufts volunteers."