Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Volunteering - what is your value?

I cannot believe how much volunteering is in the news! Not only that, but books, websites, people wanting to cash in on support volunteer organizations. I think with donor fatigue, and the recession, governments and non-profits are realizing how much they can make by depending upon volunteers.
There are those complaining that people ages 24 - 40 aren't doing their fair share, yet this is the age group when people are working very hard at raising families, working at Scout BINGO (just sayin'!), or taking kids to events.

People Don't Quit Volunteering Because they are Too Busy
>They Quit Because ...
The Top Seven Reasons Volunteers Quit
By Thomas W. McKee

McKee answers these questions:
What are your volunteers doing that is creative and exciting?
What changes are impacting your work with volunteers?

 Organizations Can Improve the Volunteer Experience By: 

  • Building meaningful relationships – get to know volunteers’ unique needs & talents
  • Developing integrated HR strategies – use similar approach for paid employees and volunteers 
  •  Being flexible and accommodating – recognize volunteers’ other time commitments 
  • Being sensitive to differences – respect volunteers’ gender, culture, language and age
  • Capitalize on technology options -- provide more online volunteer opportunities 
  •  Clearly outlining the purpose of the proposed volunteer activity and how it will help people, as well as follow up by letting volunteers know the impact of the time they contributed
  • Telling volunteers what they need and when they need it, but not how to do it and what time to do it 
 What are the reasons that volunteer quit your organization?

# 7: No flexibility in volunteer opportunities or scheduling
# 6: Too much wasted time in useless or unproductive meetings
# 5: Lack of communication
# 4: Lack of professionalism
# 3: The feeling that the volunteer is not really making a difference
# 2: No feedback from leadership about how the volunteer is doing
# 1 reason: The volunteer leader who doesn't know how to lead

The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century VolunteerTom and his son Jonathan are authors of the book,The New Breed: Understanding and Equipping the 21st Century Volunteer (Group Publishing)

Recruiting articles archive. Here you will find all kinds articles related to recruiting, motivating and training volunteers. 
 Rebecca Leaman writes: "volunteers will stay longer and work better for your non-profit organization if you can match their personalities and passions with appropriate tasks."
If you are currently a volunteer, here are some resources for you!
See: - 8 Quick Quizzes for New Volunteers - includes "a few of the many self-administered quizzes and questionnaires available on the Internet, designed to help prospective volunteers find opportunities to suit their personal work styles, skills, interests and goals."

Volunteer Canada resources, (such as this WorkBook
Baby Boomers - Your New Volunteers — our introductory workbook to rethinking your organization's approach to Baby Boomer volunteers.

According to the Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participation - Canada, 15-19 year olds have the highest volunteer rate (65%), but 47 to 75 year olds “contribute the greatest number of average annual volunteer hours.”


EG CameraGirl said...

I'm a volunteer and find that everyone wants to be followers and no one wants to lead.

Red said...

To make a volunteer program really sing you need an excellent volunteer coordinator.
A good volunteer coordinator assesses the volunteer and makes the volunteer feel appreciated. The coordinator also works with staff to see that the position is going to be useful.
I've volunteeered in some unproductive things and some that were very rewarding.

Jenn Jilks said...

@ EG Hubby finds that at Meals on Wheels: they can find drivers, but not coordinators = more work, more time, more effort!

@Red This is true, Red.

Cloudia said...

#6 says lots!

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral