Volunteer Management & Meaning in History

Volunteer management has remained a focus of both the nonprofit industry and value driven business with lean resources since history has been recorded. Emphasizing different terms and values the need for volunteers often begins with one’s local community spreading to social and spiritual affiliations, networks, and invested institutions. Communities and networks coming together during an emergency or crisis ask for imagery of a sense of duty and an obligation to help others. Strengthen through bonds that are both personal and meaningful the human want to help others transcends geographic, social, and spiritual boundaries.

Harnessing this good will during an emergency, or to the duration of a specific and finite project, is more spontaneous than when ongoing and consistent help is needed. The processes, tools, and strategies needed to build long-term commitments can thus vary considerably from those used for short term projects. The values of giving, belonging, impacting, and loving remain the same but the structure and intervals for growth are changed.

Volunteer Management & System’s Thinking

Developing a volunteer management ecosystem requires a system thinking approach. The benefits of taking a systems approach are twofold: A system’s thinking approach supports the leadership team to harness the opportunities inherent in the larger interconnected systems of stakeholders, values, and interests. A systems approach also accounts for the risks and barriers that exist in approaches implemented in isolation. Developing such complex frameworks without accounting for stakeholder, resource, and system constraints will usually lead to a framework that is unsustainable.

Volunteer organizations represent a significant asset to the communities they support & serve by generating additional impact and creating a sense of engagement and meaning. Volunteer organizations may be more difficult to manage than traditional business models but its worth the effort.

How is your organization building their volunteer management ecosystem? Leave your comments below.