Volunteers worth weight in gold
Sadly, from time to time we hear people say that volunteers might not be the most reliable or confidential candidates for a role, or as available as paid staff.
I say that is completely untrue. Volunteers serve to enhance an organisation, whether through bringing their skills, experience, passion and commitment, or their desire to contribute to change for a person, community or organisation.
Volunteers vote for the priorities in their communities through giving their time to lend a hand, and they are absolutely worth their weight in gold.
For example, they might not be as concerned with the length of time they spend on the task at hand; whether that’s taking a person shopping, helping someone with a meal, or even writing reports.
Instead, they are simply focussed on the outcome.
We often receive reports back from people in community organisations that their volunteers bring ‘something special’ to the mix; that unique x-factor that makes them a bridge to building relationships with the community while adding value to the services and opportunities community groups want to see happen.
But, volunteering doesn’t happen in a vacuum and to achieve such positive outcomes organisations will need to look at what they can offer the volunteer in terms of professional support and development, understanding the difference the volunteer makes and their interaction within the team.
Volunteers need to feel, and be seen as, part of the whole team, from their paid colleagues to fellow volunteers. Achieving that kind of participation and engagement with volunteers requires a lot of planning, organisation and integration.
I said that is completely untrue. Why?
Because volunteering doesn’t just happen by itself. Rather, it is a result of organisational and community forward thinking.
And why wouldn’t any community organisation want these outcomes?
Centre for Participation partners with community groups, large and small, to help them connect with and effectively involve volunteers so that the group’s work in the community will be successful and meaningful.
If your organisation would like to discuss potential volunteering opportunities, please call the Centre for Participation on 5382 5607.