DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS: RECREATION CENTER VOLUNTEER ‘ADOPTION’ PROGRAM

6-C
DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS:
RECREATION CENTER VOLUNTEER ‘ADOPTION’ PROGRAM

Problem Identification:
The Department’s ability to provide high-quality services is inextricably linked to efforts to significantly increase the number of volunteers who support its full time staff.

Recommended Action:
Develop a program where local businesses and non-profits can “adopt” a recreation center by having their employees volunteer a set number of hours every month.

Classification:
Service Improvement

Functional/Operational Area:

All Departmental Operations

Estimated Annual Impact:
$100,000

Estimated Implementation Costs:
None

Barriers to Implementation:
None

Projected Implementation:
90 days

Next Steps:
Identify prominent businesses and non-profit institutions in and around the Department’s network of facilities and parks, initiate a targeted outreach effort aimed at partnering facilities and parks with nearby entities, and establish a volunteer ‘adoption’ program where the nearby entities pledge levels of volunteer support for their adopted facility or park.

Analysis:
Many businesses and non-profit institutions encourage their employees to be active participants in the communities in which they work. Some entities even allow employees to utilize a few hours a month of paid work time to participate in certain community and volunteer activities. Through the establishment and promotion of a program where the Department’s recreation centers and parks are linked with local businesses and non-profit entities, structured partnerships can develop. Organizations’ volunteer efforts can be marshaled and strategically directed towards helping community recreation center and local parks. Aside from the benefit of increased levels of volunteerism, this effort could assist companies, hospitals, and schools become more active and visible participants in their communities.

If institutional partners were willing to pledge an average of eight volunteer hours per week at 25 of the recreation centers identified by the Department, this would generate a minimum of 10,400 hours of new volunteer support. If each of those hours were modestly valued at $10, the corresponding financial impact would exceed $100,000.