A strong local base - the local associations of the AWO on the Middle Rhine

"Strong base. Strong AWO." With this joint project, the district association and the member associations meet the current membership development.

Times are changing - also for the AWO. While some local associations in the district area provide a wide range of facilities and services, there are local associations that suffer not only from the age structure of their members, but also from the fact that the willingness to become actively involved with the AWO is unfortunately declining. Volunteer-led offers can therefore not be maintained and necessary association honorary posts can no longer be filled.

"Strong base. Strong AWO." made it its task to analyse the situation of the local associations and to determine their support and help needs. And considered: How can the district association then intervene in order to open up possibilities for the local association to facilitate its activities on site?

With a comprehensive questionnaire, the OV chairmen in four member associations were asked about the situation of their local association and their assessment of the member association. In addition, workshops could be held in other member associations, which put the respective local association to the test, encouraged self-reflection and developed ideas for new offers and better member support and recruitment.

The project also launched the "Engagement Round Table". Here, the full-time association representatives of the member associations and the district association meet for a continuous exchange and joint work on association-related topics. The members of the working group initially agreed on digital working topics in particular. For example, the web presences of the local associations are to be improved, new ways of communication with members and volunteers are to be found and the topic of digital volunteer exchange is to be tested for feasibility.

However, the objectives of the project are far from complete. Especially in a large association such as the AWO, changes need time to try out new ideas and achieve acceptance within the association. The sometimes lengthy processes have only just begun. Strengthening voluntary work and civic commitment at the AWO will remain a permanent topic in the future.

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