Volunteer Power News Number 29
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2005 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
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this Issue: The Long Term Volunteer is
No Longer a Trend...It is a Fixed Reality
Are you still trying to recruit the long-term volunteer and missing the great opportunity of the short term volunteer. Susan J Ellis of Energize writes,
Here are my thoughts on short-term volunteering:
1. The Retention Factor: The short-term assignment is a significant retention factor to 21st century volunteer management. People want to know the end date of the volunteer commitment.
2. The Perspective Factor: Many volunteer leaders react to the short-term volunteer because they only see "endings" and "beginnings" instead of excited, passionate volunteers working on projects. Change your perspective.
3. The Assignment Factor: We lose valuable long-term volunteers by long-term assignments. (What on earth does that mean?) Just last week an active volunteer in our community revealed to me that she quit an organization she loved very much because they would not replace her as chairperson. She kept telling the volunteer manager that she wanted to stay on the committee, but she could not continue to be the chair. They kept saying that they would find a chair, and three years later she resigned the committee with a made-up excuse. She admitted to me, "I really miss that committee, but I hated being the chair. I wish I could just serve on the committee." This organization lost a dependable, long-term volunteer because of a long-term assigned that she hated.
4. The Gen X and Y Factor: Recognize that we have a whole new generation of volunteers (Gen Xers and Yers) that do not respond to 20th Century Volunteer management methods. The question is:
So what do we do? Here are some ideas. (For added information on these ideas, see article: Why Volunteer Teams Don't Work:
See also article: Recruiting The Younger Volunteers.
I hope these thoughts
help you rethink long term vs. short term. I like Susan's suggestion
of thinking of "retention" in terms of an ongoing sequence
of short-term assignments.
Thomas W. McKee
is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant.
You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com.
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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