Being a CIPR volunteer

As they say goodbye, outgoing Not-for-Profit Committee members Alona De Havilland and Charlotte Dimond share their experiences as CIPR Volunteers and top reasons for why you should too.

Alona De Havilland

The end of this year will see me leave the CIPR Not-for-Profit committee after two years. The committee, which was reinstated at the start of 2018, was my first experience of the inner workings of the CIPR, a membership organisation I have belonged to for many years, but not really felt connected to at all times. Responding to a note on a newsletter asking for members working in the Not-for-Profit sector, it was with some trepidation I attended the first meeting. Fortunately, at the time I was working regularly in London so I was able to attend face to face, and when that was no longer viable we experimented with virtual meetings (which proved prophetic given the ‘new normal’).

My experience on the committee has been hugely positive. I now feel much more connected to CIPR and have become evangelical in encouraging colleagues and contacts to join. Always a huge fan of CIPR’s CPD programme, I now feel I have
earned my wings by helping to promote and support our own Not-for-Profit event programme.

Working in-house, I only occasionally come in contact with comms professionals, particularly those in other charities, societies or education settings. This was one of the most positive parts of being part of the committee, as it gave me an opportunity to hear how others with restricted budgets similar to mine creatively push engagement forward. Others’ stories have inspired and encouraged me.

Over the last two years the committee has grown and changed, however, the core officers have remained and shared their time, commitment and enthusiasm unflinchingly. Being part of the committee has been a wonderful experience – but knowing there are committee volunteers ready to step forward has meant I feel comfortable about passing the baton. I wish the committee the very best of luck and will obviously continue to attend events at every opportunity.

My top reasons to volunteer with CIPR

1.    You’ll meet similar minded professionals willing to share their solutions and experience.
2.    Being part of a committee helps you drive forward the CIPR agenda.
3.    Committees bring together a mix of professionals from in-house to agency and consultants working at all levels meaning they are a great place to network.
4.    Like the rest of the world, CIPR meetings are now virtual – ensuring everyone working across the UK (and internationally) can take part.
5.    The more you learn about the CIPR, the more you get out of it, from direct updates to upcoming campaigns.  

Charlotte Dimond

I’ve been a CIPR member for many years and an avid CPD logger (16 cycles and counting). Years ago I was involved in my local group and have judged the national awards a number of times. I decided that I wanted to get more involved in a sector specific group but as I work in an agency my clients span so many different sectors, making it difficult to choose which one to join. In the end I joined two, the Not-for-Profit group and the Education and Skills group.
Sadly, I couldn’t make the face to face meetings, they never did tie in with times when I was in London, but I met virtually (as is now the norm) with the committee members and got to know how the groups operated and what they were trying to achieve.
I’ve really enjoyed my time with the Not-for-Profit group, they are an extremely welcoming, forward thinking group of people who give so much time to make the group work and to ensure that they are offering members a range of quality, engaging learning opportunities.
Stepping down was a hard decision but I felt like I’d spread my time a little thin as I’m also involved in the Knowledge and Skills Panel and I wanted to ensure that if I was taking up a place on a committee then I could really deliver what was needed. Just like Arnie always says, I’m sure ‘I’ll be back’.
My top reasons to volunteer with CIPR

1.    Being a committee member gives you the chance to connect with people in your sector in a meaningful way.
2.    You get to use skills that you may not use every day in your day job, event organising, e-newsletters, social media, there are many roles that need filling.
3.    It is a great networking opportunity.
4.    Giving your time back to the industry to help to improve things for others is a really good thing to be able to do.
5.    With all membership bodies, you get out what you put in. Being a part of the committee really helps you to connect with the CIPR.

The Not-for-Profit Committee thanks Alona and Charlotte for all their hard work supporting CIPR members over the past few years.