Volunteer Managers: The Power Behind Volunteers

Column Articles
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

With 90 per cent of the non-profit organisations in our communities driven by volunteers, our volunteer managers are everywhere.

They’re often covering gaps in the staffing team and making do with the materials they have with a No. 8-wire mentality that would make MacGyver green with envy.

As a volunteer manager the buck stops with you. When you’re left at the end of an event with bits and pieces to be sorted out, forms to be signed or people to thank, it’s our volunteer managers who put in the extra hours behind the scenes.

It’s fair to say that leading a group of volunteers is a complete different kettle of fish to managing employees.

Working with volunteers is primarily driven by the heart and cultivating a strong sense of community, both within the team and in your activities in the community. There’s no financial gain, only the power from people’s goodwill.

At risk of seeing through rose-tinted glasses, I want to acknowledge our volunteer managers and their teams because they represent values we hold deeply as a community – self-sacrifice, compassion and neighbourliness.

I also want to recognise the challenges our volunteer managers face, often which no one sees. You are truly some of the greatest assets our community has.