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Trailblazers and Troublemakers: Entrepreneurial Volunteers

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Keyboard Roundtable participants from Australia, Canada, Rumania, the United Kingdom, and the United States discuss what an "entrepreneurial volunteer" really is (a pioneer or someone who doesn't like rules?  a blessing or a nightmare?) and how a volunteer program manager can welcome and support out-of-the-box participants.  Here's an excerpt from one of Abby Dyson's (UK) comments:

One area of discussion that I'm particularly interested in exploring, and finding solutions where there are obstacles, relates to that first group of volunteers that Rob identified which is, in my opinion, very similar to the final group that Linda refers to.

These are people who, for various reasons, are put off by the rules and bureaucracies that exist. One set of reasons may relate to a lack of understanding, time and/or willingness to navigate existing systems. Alternatively, perhaps as in the case of Linda's expected experience as well as Ioana's volunteer, there are people with a clear understanding of what they have to offer and/or want to achieve (often they don't have both) and an expectation that the organisations they work with will be able to accommodate them.

The first set of reasons will, I think, happily be tackled by Volunteering Managers seeking to, as Adaire says, "institute good volunteer management principles and practices" which will strip away the bad rules that may have developed over time as well as effectively communicate the need for good and necessary rules.

The second set of challenges are, I think, less likely to be embraced as the solutions are less clear, more challenging and time-consuming.