Truths About Volunteering

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Let’s tell the truth about volunteers. We know through research and practice that volunteering is changing but even the trends toward micro and virtual volunteering don’t change many truths.

#30 Tell me when I’ve screwed up (privately) or when I find out the hard way I’ll hit the road.

#29 We ain’t free, so you better use us wisely.

#28 Volunteers have baggage like fear, resistance to change, blinders, and passion. Gosh, they are human!

#27 Volunteers do follow rules … if they can understand them.

#26 Do ask, don’t tell. Need to know something about volunteers or
volunteering for your association? Go to the source – the volunteer.

#25 Volunteers really don’t want us to enable bad behavior on their parts.

#24 It’s not how much you spend on recognizing me that counts.

#23 Yes, younger professionals volunteer – if you have room for them!

#22 Manuals don’t impress volunteers – they frustrate them!

#21 Leaving a sinking ship takes valor.

#20 Behind every great volunteer is a “system” and the best have a “Queen of Volunteers.”

#19 Don’t make me “ask permission from the mother ship.”

#18 Volunteer is a pay rate not a job title.

#17 To active association volunteers, volunteering is networking.

#16 The reluctant volunteer just wants to know it’s short-term.

#15 People volunteer to be part of something larger without being larger than life in that project.

#14 Non-volunteers see themselves as different from volunteers …

#13 Volunteers rock …

#12 Staff can get in the way

#11 Volunteers don’t work 9 to 5

#10 Volunteer Work is just a line item

#9 A volunteer leader who gets their real mission is inspiring the inner leader of others is one who will lift the organization.

#8 Every volunteer has her/his own reason to stepping up to the plate.

#7 Most association volunteer training is OTJ …

#6 The greater the percentage of involved members, the greater the potential recruiting power of an association.

#5 It’s not a generational preference for volunteering; it’s a generational preference for work style.

#4 Volunteering evokes both a personal and emotional investment in your association.

#3 The Board of Directors need your help.

#2 A volunteer’s needs begin very simply – to feel welcomed.

#1 Three-quarters of Americans do not volunteer. One-quarter do.

Any truths you would add?

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.