Guest Post: Carol Blattau, Mariner Management
Our volunteers are motivated. There’s no question there. They begin their volunteer journey enthusiastic, energized, elated to be involved in something they truly believe in. And we are happy to have them. Then somewhere along that path, they falter.
So, what happened and how can we fix it?
A comprehensive training program seems the logical answer, but it comes with one major challenge: our volunteers have limited time they can devote to us and often don’t see training as a valuable way to spend that time. The problem is compounded when they come in with the misconception that they already know what to do (I am good in the profession and therefore can do this), yet often lack the very skills and knowledge they truly need to be successful. They don’t understand their roles in the associations, how associations work, or have strong leadership skills. This means we sometimes end up with volunteers sitting on boards or managing committees who are not fully qualified or truly ready to do the job at hand, which in turn leads to frustration for the volunteer and the association. So how do we convince our volunteers to invest time in their training? Perhaps what we need is a new way of thinking about that training.