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Thinking the Unthinkable: Are We Using the Wrong Model for Volunteer Work?

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Right now in volunteer management we are facing a rising tide: the increasing preference among potential volunteers for short-term, episodic volunteering. By all guesses, in practically all countries, the number of volunteers preferring a shorter term commitment is rising and there isn’t much on the futures forecast to give one hope for any reversal in this trend. We need to step back and take a concerted look at what we are asking volunteers to do and how we are asking them to do it. Most agencies, in fact, need to re-think their approach to volunteers entirely, including how to design volunteer positions.

First off, we need to dump the “volunteers as unpaid staff” paradigm.

See what our options are, if we are not afraid to challenge sacred cows.