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Are We Asleep at the Wheel? A Frustrated Volunteer Manager Speaks Out

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Volunteer manager D.J. Cronin has a passion for volunteerism and the sector of volunteer management. He believes that volunteerism is an agent for real and tangible change around the globe and a key to harnessing volunteer effort. And he believes that in today’s busy and challenging world, the role of an effective volunteer manager in Australia and elsewhere has become more critical to the sustainability and growth of the volunteerism movement – challenging volunteer managers not only to lead their teams but to embrace their roles in demonstrating the value of volunteering to government, policy makers and society in general.

But are volunteer managers asleep at the wheel? In this e-Volunteerism article, Cronin explains why he thinks they are, and why it’s time for them to wake up. Cronin first reviews how the volunteer management sector bemoans a perceived lack of understanding of their roles in society – complaining about everything from the paucity of sector resources to being underpaid and undervalued. Then Cronin argues that it’s time to cease the blame game and take a good, cold look at how volunteer managers are performing. In the process, Cronin challenges volunteer managers to stop ignoring data on volunteer management, to recognize that professional bodies are not “packing a punch,” and to understand why nearly half of all volunteer managers today do not intend to continue in the field by 2013.