While many organizations believe that they are a “volunteer-ready organization,” many actually need to conduct a thoughtful and strategic assessment before they can launch and maintain a successful volunteer program. We often operate from the following misconceptions:
• “Volunteers are free.”
• “Anyone can manage volunteers.”
• “All organizations should/can engage volunteers.”
Anyone who has been a volunteer or has managed them can probably share horror stories of volunteering “gone wrong.”
So, taking the time to become ready for volunteers will greatly help those of us who serve as volunteer coordinators/managers. Becoming volunteer-ready minimizes the energy we spend daily trouble-shooting and it maximizes our efforts to recruit, support and keep valuable volunteers. Time and effort spent planning today will be worth its weight in gold tomorrow.