Thursday, December 22, 2011

Getting The Volunteer Equation Right

You can't please everybody. Legions of articles and books detail both the triumphal and disastrous experiences with volunteers. But overlooked are the potential great volunteers we lose becasue our internal management systems are not set up to treat volunteers as a rich resource. This piece from Blue Avocado highlights the frustrations some volunteers face when trying to give of themselves to organizations that are ill equipped to deal with people in a professional manner.

Key point in this piece:
 "Have you made sure that everyone who works with volunteers understands that the red tape and bureaucratic requirements are secondary to the primary objective of getting volunteers working productively? Have you checked to make sure that the way paperwork is presented is not a blockade that volunteers have to fight through?"

1 comment:

Voices said...

How can I learn more about managing and cultivating and nurturing volunteers?

I've been trying to get our board to discuss this and come up with some plans, but it's a bit like handling trainees or interns - they can take up more time, in management, then the organization can afford to spend.

And it's a comparitively thankless job, low kudos, hard work, greater-than-average stresses.

Do you know anybody I can study who is an expert at it?