Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Its “only” Volunteer Management and you are “just” a Volunteer Manager or Coordinator!

Haven’t been blogging for awhile. I’ve been really busy to tell you the truth. Most of, if not all, of my blogging is done in the evening. After work. After the kids have been played with and put to bed! After the quality family time.

It’s been a particularly busy time for my own volunteer management role in the last few weeks. Believe me when I say it’s always busy but the last few weeks particularly so. I’m not complaining. I have wonderful staff in terms of coordination and a wonderful team in terms of volunteers. And sometimes when you come home from a busy day in volunteer management the last thing you want to do is write a wee blog on a volunteer management issue!

After over 4 months I’ve been reflecting on the blog. It’s Raison d'être. I track the number of visits to the site not with the intention of popularity but with the deep interest within me on what topics interest volunteer managers.

To be brutally honest (and I have a tendency towards that here!) I sometimes think “what’s the point”. Some self doubt creeps in. “what difference does any of this postulation make to the volunteer management community!” after all I am “just a volunteer manager” in Brisbane. I am no “expert”. I don’t earn money training volunteer managers. I am no academic.

Ah…the trappings of self doubt that is an uncomfortable part of our volunteer management nature. We love to inform volunteers that there is no such thing as “Just a volunteer or only a volunteer” Yet do we suffer the same malaise? Nodding your head? At times perhaps.

What keeps me blogging are a couple of facts.

Firstly there is a subtle power in blogging. Volunteer management in my opinion is bereft of authority and power. If we gather in a network and complain about something then my experience shows that, sorry, at the end of the day our protestations matter for naught. Blogging gives you a more public forum. Statements are more out there in our internet savvy world.

My scribing, postulations and viewpoints can be found today in various forums. While I am not “just a volunteer manager” some people are discussing what I talk about. Even if people are accusing me of ranting – they are at least engaging in a discourse on volunteer management!
Secondly people tend to respond to blog sites. Because it is a public forum. 1,600 individuals have visited this blog site since the end of March 2010. Are they all volunteer coordinators? I don’t know. Yet surely they are people with an interest in volunteerism, or the management or coordination of this.

And finally, it’s been the real experiences of the last few weeks that have encouraged me to keep this blog going.
I like to keep in touch with colleagues that I have met at conferences or retreats or networks. In the past few weeks I have engaged with people who
• Are leaving the profession because they don’t feel supported
• Who are struggling in their roles because they don’t feel recognised and\or resourced
• Who feel very overwhelmed by the amount of work that they have
• Who feel pretty disillusioned by the volunteer management sector itself

Real people in real situations. Here in the Australasian region. I have no doubt that their experiences are replicated in the places where you live.
So yeah folks – some more honesty here. Yep, I can get despondent at times. Sometimes I wonder why I bother when people say that I am just “stirring” or I am being “outrageous”
And yep - a lot of my stuff here is repetitive.

But I make no apology while I continue to hear the stories that I have heard over the last 3 weeks.

People may say “then what’s your solution DJ?”

My answer to that is the recognition of the issues by all the players in Volunteerism. Good grief, what I am hearing and seeing anecdotally cannot all be imaginary. Why would I make this stuff up? Especially as volunteer manager who is happy in his own role and feels recognised, respected and resourced by his own agency.

What can my agenda be?
Yep – its repetitive.
But I am passionate about YOU getting the recognition that YOU deserve

And I am not giving in or up



Write on this blog

Send me your story on acim4me@live.com

You wanna vent?

Do so

Share your story anonymously

I will share here and with the people in volunteerism who NEED TO KNOW!

Above all - never think you are alone

Volunteer management or coordination or administration or whatever you call it Matters.

You matter!


1 comment:

  1. Keep pushing, DJ. Blogs have a way of staying around and getting noticed later by people googling something or other. We need MORE practitioners such as yourself blogging, not less!!


Featured Post

The simple act of kindness.

How we learn from our children! This post was inspired by an act of my daughter. When her mum arrived at work today she found this...