My top ten gripes about volunteer management and volunteerism

Had a Twitter exchange today that gave me the idea for this blog.

What I tweeted is at number 10 but these are not in order of preference just a top ten gripe list. Feel free to add yours.  In fact I might turn each one into a tweet.

I like to read job ads for leaders of volunteers. Usually I read the responsibilities which are major. Then I read the pay band which is minor. Usually part time too. What's with #crapwages in #volmgt #lovols #value #respect

I got a good reply on Twitter to the above. I will honour it with a place on my top ten list

Even more frustrating when a job post doesn't mention pay, which usually means it's embarrassingly low. I never share job posts without pay listed. – Liza Dyer

My reply to that gets number 8

Or when they won't list the role as Manager for fear of having to pay management wages! 

When there is an ad for a volunteer leadership position but leading or working with volunteers only makes it to “desirable” in the selection criteria or does not make it at all! And people find themselves in senior roles concerning volunteering but haven’t a clue about volunteerism!

A volunteer management role that states – “Must have HR degree or experience”


People who are given the responsibility of managing volunteers as an add on to their core role. I.E. our receptionist is nice so he will be good “looking after the vollies” or “Our Social worker will have plenty of time to manage the 100 volunteers we have too”

The word “Vollies”. I am not sure why but it makes me cringe.

“Just A” As in “I’m just a volunteer” or “I am just a volunteer coordinator” We are all guilty of this one. It needs to be dead and buried!

“The lifeblood of the organisation” This old chestnut usually is brought out during an event like volunteers week. Usually used by a politician, CEO or journalist. WE are tired of the lip service. Find more profound language my friends!

The following conversation

‘What do you do?”

“I manage volunteers”


“That’s nice”


  1. Yes I agree with all of the above especially no.1. Also often followed up with do you get paid then in a patronising tone how lovely of you working with the collies. Heard recently manager of volunteers part of charities leadership team yet not afforded the same benefits as other managers.


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