Ways to Get Involved with the MQG

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You might have gone to QuiltCon, you might just be a member of your local guild, but you love the MQG and you are thinking you want to get more involved. Well you’ve landed in the right place!

 

Three years ago I saw in an MQG newsletter that there was a call for applications to be on a Task Force…to create, of all things, Task Forces. I didn’t know exactly what the job would entail, but I knew I had spent the last 5 years or so building organizations and that life experience would lend itself to creating and implementing new programs. So I raised my hand and said “I volunteer!”   It was weeks of conference calls, writing documents, submitting them for review and getting notes back. But at the end we had a framework that the MQG Board approved, and now the MQG has Task Forces!

Did you know any member can submit a Task Force idea? As an example, do you enjoy the Member Spotlights in the Newsletter? That was a Task Force idea. Also, I submitted the idea to create a document for new and existing MQG leadership to have a guidebook on how to run their guild. It was something that I wish that I had when I became my guild’s Treasurer, so I submitted it. It was approved and others joined our Task Force and after working with a team for about 6 months, there is a document that will be going out to Guild Leadership soon. It answers any question a new or existing Guild Leader might have about building and maintaining a thriving chapter.

 

The MQG also has standing committees, they include Charity, Task Forces, Leadership, and Nominating Committees. Each of these committees have various time commitments. For example the Charity Committee receives and reviews the applications for charity projects that forward the mission of the MQG in its philanthropic efforts. The Task Force Committee evaluates and approves applications task forces. The Leadership Committee supports Guild leaders through documents, webinars, and hosting the Leadership Breakfast at QuiltCon.

By the way, did you attend the Leadership Breakfast in Nashville? It is a great way to meet other leaders and get an update on what is upcoming in the MQG, make sure you sign up next year (plus it includes a great breakfast!). If you are interesting in serving on any of these committees reach out to the head of the committee and see what you can do to help.

QuiltCon is obviously the biggest need for volunteers throughout the year. You can be a Super Volunteer and volunteer 16 hours throughout the weekend of QuiltCon, or if you just have a few hours to volunteer, that’s great too. You could serve as a white glove, or a workshop helper, help at the registration desk or at the shop. You know you want to wander the show and touch all of the quilts anyway, so sign up! If you are a Super Volunteer you also get some great perks for next QuiltCon like Early Bird Registration. If you can make it to QuiltCon a few days early you can help set up the show, hang quilts, and make goody bags.  Or if you can stay late there is always a need to help pack up! Signups start in August, but you can sign up for the Volunteer Newsletter now and be in the know.

That members step up into Local or worldwide Leadership is key to keeping the MQG a strong and thriving organization. Our local guilds are our face of the MQG around the world. When your guild has its next round of elections, don’t wait for someone to ask you to run, step up and run yourself! I attended my first Philadelphia Modern Quilt Guild meeting in 2015, and that night I was put in charge of the Charity Committee. That gave me the ability to easily get to know the other members and when it came up for the next round of elections someone said “hey we think you would be great on the Executive Board” and I thought “I can do that!” Serving on my guild’s Executive Board has been a great opportunity to make sure that my guild is on track to be a strong and successful organization long after I am done serving on the board. As a guild leader I can tell you, having someone offer to help can also be a lifesaver! I always need people to help around our retreats or workshops. Do you have an event coming up? Reach out to the person in charge and offer to do whatever is needed.

Local volunteering isn’t the only way to ensure the MQG is on a strong path. The Next round of MQG worldwide Board Elections will be held in 2020 with the three year term starting in 2021. The nominating committee really ramps up in early 2020 to help find volunteers for each of those positions. But, if you live outside of the United States the Region 5 Ambassadors program is just starting up and looking for Ambassadors. There are already Ambassadors in place for Canada, The Netherlands and the UK but Region 5 reaches all around the world. For each country in which there are more than 50 MQG members we would love to have an ambassador in those counties to keep your members up to date on the goings on at the MQG. The needs of members really varies from country to country, so having someone who can communicate those to the MQG can be invaluable. You can find out more and apply to the Ambassadors program here.

Another easy way to volunteer, that I don’t think people even realize, is when the MQG or your guild hosts a swap, offer to be a swap fairy. For the MQG annual swap fairy signups are typically in September and swapping is in February. Or offer to head up some programming for your local guild. Are you participating in a quilt along? Reach out to the host of the quilt along and see if you can run it concurrently in your guild. It will drive more people to the person hosting the quilt along and give your members an opportunity to participate in something together!

There are so many ways to get involved in your local guild or at the Worldwide Modern Quilt Guild level. We are an organization that is run smoothly with the help of strong volunteer leadership. You can even offer to write an article like this one! Is there a program you wish you had? Or something that you needed to go find the answer to and think that other leaders might benefit from that information? Raise your hand and write an article or host a webinar!

I’ve loved my time volunteering for the MQG. I’m excited to put all that my Task Force has worked on over the months out into the world and have it benefit leaders across the world. I’m excited for QuiltCon in Austin because I will be raising my hand this year to volunteer and hope to see you there with me.