Last year we did a bulletin series on the various reasons why paid staffers didn't use volunteers. (EMC258-263.) Here's a summary of "reasons."
COMMON CONCERNS TO USING VOLUNTEERS:
- I don't want to work with, or coordinate, volunteers:
- I don't understand them
- My staff feels threatened by them
- I don't know why they volunteer to help us
- I don't comprehend what motivates them
- I (or my staff) don't know how to manage them
- I don't have space (or equipment) for them
- I don't have time to prepare work for them
- I don't have time to train them
- I don't want to deal with liability issues
- I don't have time to supervise volunteers
- I don't need them
- I had a bad experience with one of them and swore never to get involved with volunteers again
For we who volunteer as almost a way of life (meaning we've volunteered for some service from day one) we know of the rolled eyes of people who don't have a clue as to why ANYONE would work like we do without a paycheck.
Maybe that's why someone (author unknown) wrote the "Ode to Volunteers."
Many will be shocked to find When the day of judgment nears,
That there's a special place in Heaven Set aside for volunteers.
Furnished with big recliners, Satin couches and footstools,
Where there are no committee chairmen,
No yard sales or rest area coffee to serve,
No library duty or bulletin assembly,
There will be nothing to print and staple,
Not one thing to fold and mail,
Telephone lists will be outlawed.
But a finger snap will bring Cool drinks and gourmet dinners
And rare treats fit for a king.
You ask, "Who'll serve these privileged
Few and work for all they're worth?"
Why all those who reaped the benefit
And not once volunteered on Earth.
(Quote from Huntington Beach CERT 1/01 Newsletter.)