Thursday, March 5, 2009

volunteers...

over the last month i have had the privilege of working with diane adamec. diane is the definition of a high capacity volunteer. she spent her professional life as an organizing genus and has been "floating" around the student union giving me much needed feedback about our systems.

she asked me a question today that has rattled around in my brain. "are you able to identify and fully utilize your quality volunteers?" i like to think that i am, but as i think more about it... i'm not so sure.

in the church world (or any organization that utilizes volunteers) we are afraid to ask people to do "more" because we don't want to overload them or burn them out... but, i also have a hunch that if we simply asked we may find that people are ready and willing to give more.

more important, there are probably people that serve at the student union that have the professional capacity and know how to take neglected areas and make them great. may people don't feel passionate about their "day job" because they don't feel like they are changing the world... that is one of the reasons they serve in the first place. perhaps it's my fault for not giving them the chance to make a greater impact.

just to push the conversation a little further... why can't a paid staff member of a church have a volunteer as their boss? there are people out there who can manage an entire staff with a one hour meeting.

milthaler

4 comments:

Micah said...

It can work. I've seen it done.

cdwalker247 said...

As a volunteer at VSU, I think that we can do more and be involved in bigger things. But it depends on the person too. Always give a volunteer the opportunity to say no. It is not good to do so much that it messes with our other responsibilities, but sometimes we don't know there is a need if we are not asked. I think it would be good to know the skillset of your volunteers so that you can utilize everyone in the best capacity.

steg stories said...

load the volunteers up with tasks you need done and if their legs start to buckle, then back off a little bit. People want to do more, after all, thats why they are there
just my thoughts

Anonymous said...

I would be more then willng to do more Mat, let me know what I can do. Laurie