From "Local Value" to regional value – a cultural nonprofit organisation at lake Balaton: twenty-five years of operation and results in volunteer coordination

Ágnes Ántal - Éva Dóri - Tünde Szalai


The Local Value ("Helyiérték") – Regional Association of Thinkers and Creators was founded in 1998 as a cultural non-profit organisation in Balatonboglár with the aim to provid cultural and community activities for residents and summer visitors and to develop strong local and cultural ties for young people to prevent migration from the area. During its 25 years of operation, the Local Value (Helyiérték) Association has organised and hosted three cultural events – the Antal Légrádi Talent Rock Festival, the Méta Festival and the Jazz and Wine Festival – which have become key events in the Lake Balaton region. In addition, since the millennium, the association has increasingly focused on public engagement, and it plays an important role in local and regional work with youth. The main purpose of the case study is to present the achievements of the association in the realisation of cultural festivals and programmes, as well as professional work, which have been achieved is a result of the work of its member and affiliated volunteers. We emphasise that the specificity of volunteer coordination is determined by the different organisational and municipal affiliations of the volunteers and the varying frequency of their volunteering. This challenge has also greatly influenced the development of volunteer coordination over the last 25 years, which has moved from learning by doing to more conscious and organised volunteer coordination. We will also showthat the association relies heavily on its local social embeddedness and the social and cultural capital it has accumulated over a quarter of a century of operation to recruit volunteers. In addition, we describe how the employment of volunteers is accomplished through a variety of activities, team work, and differentiation in the frequency of volunteering, as well as community mobilization, and ongoing recognition. Finally, we explore the role overload that the volunteer coordinator has to cope with during organisation. The Local Values (Helyiérték) Association is proud of the extensive and deep-rooted social position it has achieved and the regionalised cultural activities it has carried out over the last 25 years.

Keywords: cultural nonprofit organisation, festivals, Lake Balaton region, local society, social capital, volunteer coordination, episodic volunteers,