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Community Outreach Boston Section 100 2003 What did you do and how did you do it? The mission of the ASQ-Boston Outreach Committee is to increase awareness of quality practices provided by ASQ-Boston across all sectors of the greater Boston community. The Outreach Committee focused on increasing ASQ name recognition by supporting worthwhile community events. We set criteria for events, publicized this on our web site and in our Newsletter, and asked the ASQ–Boston Membership to suggest suitable activities. Outreach Activities to date include: Support for WGBH public broadcasting. ASQ-Boston is participating in the WGBH Pledge Drive and Auction for the second year. Participants, wearing ASQ golf shirts, are live on camera. ASQ receives several on-air mentions, thanking ASQ for its support. A meeting has been set with the person who coordinates all volunteer events to discuss how we might be helpful to each other. Support for Special Olympics of Massachusetts (SOMA). We have connected with the CEO of SOMA who wants help with event planning and evaluation, volunteer training, equipment control, etc. We have been invited to planning meetings and tournament events. Our intent is to attend these meetings and events to familiarize ourselves with SOMA processes and then determine jointly how we might be most helpful to them. The SOMA CEO has also suggested that we work with SOMA’s press agent to help get ASQ name recognition. Continuing support for the connection with Suffolk University to maintain the Accelerated MBA program for qualified ASQ members, worldwide (presented as a Best Practice at AQC 5/01). Establishment of a Speakers Bureau. We are seeking qualified individuals who can speak on any of a number of quality “hot topics” in several key industries as identified by the Section. The Speakers Bureau has established a website which is linked to the ASQ-Boston site. Several individuals have volunteered to speak and to find host organizations. We have already received a request for Lean Manufacturing and are in the process of negotiating an agreeable time. When did you do it? The Outreach Committee was officially established in 8/2001, but with 9/11/2001, we did not get off the ground until 2002. What was your measure of success? We increased awareness of quality practices provided by ASQ-Boston across all sectors of the greater Boston community as follows: (1) The WGBH public broadcasting Pledge Drive and Auction give us a unique chance to promote ASQ Boston and our mission, as well as to network with other volunteers from industry and non- profit organizations. ASQ- Boston received several on-air mentions and members were live on camera wearing ASQ shirts. The WGBH coordinator of volunteer events has established a meeting in April to discuss how we might partner; (2) The SOMA CEO has indicated several ways in which we might help improve the quality of their practices and has offered the help of his press agent to increase awareness of ASQ-Boston and quality principles. We have schedules of SOMA meetings and events for April- June. A core group will be established to attend; The Quality Speakers Bureau has opened new avenues to network with organizations representing all sectors of the greater Boston community. Several people have come forth who are willing to speak and find places for us to speak. We have already received our first request. We also Increased member participation in ASQ-Boston sponsored activities: Last year approximately 7 -10 people participated in the WGBH Pledge Drive and Auction. This year we had 14 people participate in the Pledge Drive alone and close to 20 are anticipated for the Auction in June We increased number of ASQ-Boston members stepping forward to take leadership positions. The original Outreach Committee consisted of 7 people. There are now 12 members on the committee. We have testimonials from ASQ-Boston members and WGBH stating that Outreach Activities have (1) increased a sense of pride in participating in ASQ-Boston sponsored activities; and (2) have created good will in the community. The Outreach Committee will receive the Section Excellence in Volunteering award in April. What was your goal - did you meet it? Our main goal was to increase name recognition for ASQ and quality practices. As noted above, we did this and much more. What would you do differently next time? Focus on benchmarking and partnership building from the beginning. We started out with a this is who we are and this is what we can do for you approach. We found that people did not know about ASQ or quality. We got much better result when we changed our approach. Organizations like WGBH and SOMA, especially, rely on volunteers and have a very good retention rate for their volunteers. The first question to ask is what can we learn from you? Then, what can we learn from each other? And how might we share our skills? What did you like best about the project? Outreach Activities support worthy causes, create good will in the community and a sense of pride in participating in ASQ-Boston sponsored activities. They have provided opportunities to build on-going relationships with the leadership of the organizations sponsoring activities and with the ASQ members participating in the events. This by itself creates awareness of and promotes quality principles. There is much we can learn from other organizations about sustaining volunteerism.
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