Most often I hear ‘I don't have time to do anything more. I'm too busy'.
So, I ask, why aren't you giving a volunteer the opportunity to help you?
In many agencies, the roles available to volunteers largely support the clients. Yet I find the staff are in desperate need of assistance to maintain the programme, let alone grow it. Hello! Why not engage volunteers to support you?
Now, let's be clear. I'm not talking about replacing paid staff with volunteers - that's a definite no-no. I'm also not talking about getting volunteers in to do the crummy jobs you'd rather not. But there will be volunteers who are interested in what your agency does, who want to help in ways you haven't considered.
Recently I spent a delightful hour with a coordinator of volunteers who is relatively new to the role and to the sector. Focussing on growing a strong team of volunteers to support special clients, she is swamped by the demands of her job. It hadn't occurred to her to give a volunteer seeking office work, the opportunity to be part of a fabulous programme.
A little brainstorming, some thinking outside the square, and she now has some fantastic ways to better support her volunteers, to grow the programme and to keep her own balance in the role.
The volunteer roles might be ongoing or one-off. Either way, they will provide more than just another pair of hands. Its fresh eyes, new ideas and approaches. It's creating more raving fans for your programme. It's creating a team to support a team. Now why wouldn't you find time to do that?
Building diverse, inclusive workplaces