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Volunteerism

An excerpt from my February Journal page:

Some of the smarty-pants trend watchers are justifiably declaring to the non-profit world that volunteers are getting hard to find. We’ve heard from regional clubs and other folks that many of our breed’s “old reliable” worker bees are getting tired. It’s one thing to pitch in and help put on a show or other activity, but it’s another to be given perpetual status with no hint of relief.

The trend is real. Whether caused by generational differences, self-interest, time crunches, or too many competing choices, we do find that fewer individuals are willing to invest sizable quantities of personal time to organizations. Part of the solution might be shorter assignments with specific expiration dates. Give people a job, let them do it, and then let them “nominate” a replacement.

We can also remind ourselves that others can perform just as well as we can, if given a reason and an opportunity. Sometimes we forget to share the load, thinking that work won’t get done if we don’t do it ourselves. I tend to believe that today’s “young” people are more interested in the greater good than we give them credit for. Let’s find ways to get people involved in volunteer efforts that suit them, not just us.

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