Truths About Volunteering

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?