A UK study into volunteering makes some astute recommendations to Not For Profits. As volunteers have more time demands than previously they have become more selective about how and where they donate their time.
Fundraising volunteers are the single largest type of volunteer and the fundraising discipline has received the lion’s share of attention. It’s easy to see what you get from fundraising and not so easy from other forms of volunteering, so, the study says, management of volunteering is 10-20 years behind in its management approach.
Volunteering has risen from 29% of population in 2001 to 42% in 2003 and the three most commonly cited motivations are:
1. belief in a cause;
2. having been touched by a cause;
3. desire to impart skills and knowledge
1. Recognise different volunteer types and their motivation. They include:
(i)’selfish’ volunteers – want to know what’s in it for them as well as the organisation
(ii)’brain volunteers’ and ’cause-driven’ volunteers
(iii) ‘slog-based brawn volunteers’ are on the wane.
2. “Productise” volunteer opportunities through packaging and marketing, so volunteers are presented with specific tasks that are measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
The charity sector needs to get the message across that volunteers are simply donors who give their time and that offering time and skills should be as natural as giving money.
A VOLUNTEER TRADE – HOW IT WORKS IN THE US
The latest fundraising concept from the US is “A Volunteer Trade” an agreement to switch volunteers with another organisation for specific tasks during a specific event – and apparently it’s taking off!
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