Volunteers' Corner: Just Say Yes! (But only if you really want to . . .)


By Marcia Gallos, FCIA

As the CIA (e)Bulletin returns, I am also back providing some information on volunteering in the CIA. Next month, I will resume profiling our more decorated volunteers (please see my previous articles on Allan Edwards and Minaz Lalani).

What Makes a Good Volunteer?

Volunteering can be very rewarding. But it’s not enough to call in for a CIA committee meeting and passively listen to the discussion. Your active participation and sharing of experiences are needed to enrich the collective understanding of the problem at hand. Whether it involves as simple a decision as the background of the annual Volunteer Awards brochure or as complicated as the new critical illness morbidity study, committee work relies on teams of volunteers to make things happen.

If I sit and think about when I have had my most rewarding experiences as a volunteer, CIA and otherwise, I can always reflect that it’s when I’ve given as much as I’ve taken. And, conversely, some of my most disappointing experiences come when I have not committed as much as I could have.

So, what are some of these basic qualities?
Overall, hold nothing back and you will more than likely be rewarded with the satisfaction of contributing to the success and growth of this wonderfully complicated profession.

Getting Started: All You Have to Do is Say Yes!

  1. Go to the CIA website. Log in to the members section. On the left-hand-side navigation panel, click on My Profile > My Volunteer Profile > Update Volunteer Profile. Once you’ve completed the Update Volunteer Profile form to indicate your skills, experience, and general interests, go to the Modify My Committee and Task Force Interests form to indicate specific volunteer committees that you are interested in joining.
  2. Press your case. If you have a strong interest in a specific committee, contact the CIA or the committee chair. They will be happy to provide you with more information or to invite you to a meeting. You can also gain a feel for what each committee does by visiting the Volunteer Booth at many CIA meetings.
  3. Make it a priority. Understand the time commitment required for the volunteer position and set aside time in your schedule. Communicate any concerns to the committee chair and allow them to help you in assessing whether the opportunity is right for you.
  4. Get your employer on board. In many cases, volunteering can actually bring value to your employer. Many committees might overlap with your work or provide you with valuable training and experience. In many cases, you may be able to designate work time towards volunteering.
  5. Stay tuned. Keep reading the Volunteers’ Corner articles in the (e)Bulletin.
  6. Check out the resources for volunteers in the Volunteer Centre on the CIA website.
Current Vacancies

There are no vacancies to advertise this month. If you are interested in volunteering, the best course of action is to register as indicated in the previous section.

Committee chairs use the Volunteer Applicant Registry as the first course of action to fill vacancies in their committees.

Marcia Gallos, FCIA, is Chair of the New Members Committee, former chair of the Committee on Volunteer Initiatives, and a member of the Member Services Council.

Canadian Institute of Actuaries/Institut canadien des actuaires