The 3 Stages in the Journey of the Volunteer

Strategies for crafting the volunteer experience, and delivering the meaning that volunteers crave, all begin by better understanding today's volunteers. At Realized Worth, we do that by breaking down the volunteer's journey into three stages: Tourist, Traveler, and Guide.

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Tourist – Traveler – Guide. This is the journey of the volunteer. The great failure of volunteer coordinators lies in expecting tourists to act as guides, treating guides like tourists, and ignoring the traveler altogether. It's time we meet people where they’re at. Here’s how to recognize employee volunteers at each stage, and how to treat them accordingly.

Chris Jarvis

Executive Director, RW Institute

Chris Jarvis is a co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Realized Worth, a global agency focused on the design and implementation of employee-led volunteering and giving programs. His work with Fortune 500 companies around the world is helping to mobilize hundreds of thousands of employees to make meaningful contributions in the communities where they live and work. Widely known for his thought-leadership in employee volunteering, workplace giving and corporate social responsibility, in 2011, Chris was asked by the United Nations Office of Partnerships to design and launch the first private sector led initiative to achieve the post-millennial Sustainable Development Goals through corporate volunteering. Chris now volunteers on the board of IMPACT 2030, the only business-led effort designed to unite companies in their corporate volunteering efforts to address the United Nations’ Development Agenda. Chris also offers Impact Coaching to CEOs and executive leaders around the world. In 2015, Chris and his partner, Angela Parker, launched the RW Institute (RWI), a think tank focused on advancing the practice and theory of corporate volunteering through innovative projects, research, analysis and public policy change. RWI is comprised of an association of stakeholders who are committed to removing existing barriers and promoting the practice and theory of corporate volunteering on a global scale. The goal is to help practitioners be more successful – whether they are clients, engaged formally or not. Chris believes the work these people do as part of corporate citizenship is critical to addressing the social and environmental issues facing our global society. When not traveling, Chris spends time with his kids in his home base of Indianapolis, Indiana. He enjoys a good scotch and unwinding to an epic storyline.
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