Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Accept your lot in Volunteer Management and don't take it out on Volunteers!

Came across an article in the Conductive Chronicle. Never heard of that before but I get alerts whenever Volunteer management is mentioned. The article is all about preparing for Volunteers and placing them into appropriate positions which is all well and good but it was this particular paragraph that got my Irish up.

“As a volunteer manager, we have certain obligations. As much as we may be overworked, underpaid and possibly even under-appreciated (never!), we certainly don’t want to make any of that our volunteers’ problem. Here’s how to make sure your volunteers and your organization are reaching a mutually beneficial arrangement.”

There is so much wrong with that on so many levels. It smacks of defeatism. It’s a little pretentious and it devalues ethical behaviour in Volunteer management. I am unclear on what the authors experience of Volunteer management is but Ive yet to encounter a colleague grumbling about how lowly paid they are and how the volunteers will suffer for it!

Also, as Volunteer Managers we need as sector to ensure that we are not overworked, that we are not underpaid and that we work on building recognition for our field. We need to do this collectively as a sector. We need to be louder than the self perpetuating martyrs who accept their lot and thrive on the victimhood of “just a volunteer manager” mentality!

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