Volunteer Expectations

Wednesday Buzz: Reframing Your Volunteer Expectations

Instead of focusing on micro-volunteerism, one expert suggests putting an emphasis on passionate, motivated volunteers. Plus: the keys to facilitating facilitation.

Twenty Hats founder Elisa Kosarin, who helps nonprofit groups with their volunteer programs, is on a mission to counteract a trend she’s hearing a lot about from those she works with.

In her experience, groups are claiming that “volunteers are busier than ever, and many organizations are looking to engage volunteers differently. The trend is towards micro-volunteerism and short-term assignments,” she writes in a new blog post.

Your organization may be noticing that same trend, but Kosarin offers a counterpoint.  Instead of thinking of volunteers as worker bees who can tackle your ever-expanding task list, she recommends thinking about why volunteers join your team in the first place. They’re often as invested in your cause and the outcomes of your initiatives as your staff is. So, it may be best to shift the discussion away from finding lots of volunteers to fill short-term assignments and toward finding those passionate, engaged volunteers who can go above and beyond small tasks.

“[P]erhaps the reframe is not even about what your program needs—it’s about marketing to engage volunteers who meet your needs,” Kosarin writes. “It’s a big world out there. I would argue there’s a volunteer perfect for any volunteer position—IF you know how to reach her.”

Feature of the Day


Looking to put a little more horsepower into your association’s Instagram presence? Then we have some good news: The growing social media giant is adding a new Explore page and improved search functionality to make it easier to dive deep into the pictorial network.

Other Good Reads

For an exploration of curation, algorithms, Apple Music, BuzzFeed’s news app, and what it all means for publishers, check out Stratechery founder Ben Thompson’s latest post.

If you’re looking to facilitate facilitation in your association, program and workshop expert Jeffrey Cufaude has debuted a Facilitation Fundamentals Training Resource Kit.

A prominent LinkedIn expert, Linked Selling founder Josh Turner, shares some of his wisdom with SobelMedia principal Bill Sobel in this Q&A on CMSWire.


Morgan Little

By Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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