Sunday, May 2, 2010

How many Volunteer Managers does it take to change a lightbulb?

So here is my challenge. To evolve and become a true profession I argue that we need an answer, no, a funny answer to this question!

When there are legitimate jokes about Volunteer Management and especially when there is VM joke associated with the classic light bulb then we know we have entered the mainstream.

So help me here as I find one way to launch Volunteer Management into mainstream thinking!!

Q How many Volunteer Managers does it take to change a light bulb?

A ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????


  1. Only one but it could take a while because they have to write a job description, recruit for the position, interview, process a police check and send them to an OHS training session. However if they do all these steps well the volunteer will stick around to change all the rest!!

  2. LOL! I have to come up with a prize rox because this is very funny!!!

    You are leading at the moment. LOL you are the only one. the winner will get huge promotion on my site.

    I intend for this site to have a million hits a day!

    Thoughts become things!!

  3. My own answer:

    None! The volunteers do it while the volunteer managers spend time debating the meaning of volunteering!!!

  4. Impossible to know. A recent study was conducted where 50 randomly selected VMs were given a task and individually brought to their "new office" where the light bulb was burned out. After trying the lightswitch and learning that the bulb was burned out, each of the 50 VMs made the assumption that they didn't have the resources to bring light into the room, and proceeded to do their work in the dark assisted by flashlights, candles, cigarette lighters, and the glow from cell phones. With some difficulty and with a wide range of quality they each completed their tasks, but none ever changed the bulb. Several noted in evaluations that a functioning bulb would have been helpful, but they all assumed a bulb would be procured at some later date.

  5. Answer A (the boring answer) None. VM puts in a maintenance request and light bulb gets changed by maintenance department.

    Answer B (think outside the box) None. VM moves the office outside to the fresh air and natural sunlight – much nicer to be outside anyway. The volunteers are far too busy running around volunteering to stand still long enough to notice a burnt out light bulb.

    Answer C (think really big) None. No need for working light bulbs the enigmatic brilliance of a VM brainstorming new ideas on moving the sector forward is creating enough illumination!!!!

  6. Bruce and Wamoore! I am loving your answers!!!!

    the competition is hotting up!!!

    Thanks for your fantastic and witty posts!!!

  7. None. Surely no volunteer manager will ever undertake any task that could be delegated to a volunteer. This would be an ideal one-off volunteering opportunity for someone with limited technical skills. Successful changing of the bulb would also lead to a case study of how volunteering can change the world.

  8. Only one but only if the lightbulb was bought from a not for profit store. None of this nasty private sector stuff for us! :-)

  9. But if you look closely Rob you will discover that the lightbulbs are exactly the same no matter where they were purchased.

    Great answer Rob but 2 points deducted for cheekyness! :-)

  10. Volunteer managers wouldn't "change" the lightbulb -- we'd "engage" it. By mobilizing the bulb's enthusiasm and clearly delineating the task, we would invite it to re-kindle -- and succeed.

  11. Susan's post gets my vote as the best one so far in this thread.

  12. None.
    If we had got to the point where the Facilities Dept had been made redundant, the volunteer manager would have been long gone!


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