Many people would like to volunteer, but just don’t know what exactly they want to do or how they can best fit with the needs of an organization. They search through advertisements for volunteers, decide to try one, but they don’t know what it is that they will be doing until they show up! Many times, the work varies from day to day based on who is directing the volunteers. Then, sometimes there is little work, making the experience dull, or so much to do that it is difficult to figure out where to begin.
This was my volunteer experience with several organizations. They knew they needed help, but when help arrived (me), they just looked around and found “something for the volunteer to do.” Sometimes, if no one was there to guide me, I even looked for work myself. In addition, at one organization, I had no set schedule because the director admitted to not wanting to scare me away with restrictions. This was frustrating and exasperating. Instead of feeling valued for contributing my time, I felt like I was wasting it. When people asked me what I was doing for the organization I would simply respond, “I just help out with whatever they need.” After a while, I lost interest and left.
At SDV Network we have a very different vision for volunteering. Volunteers work in collaborative self-directed teams where roles are defined based on skills, talents and interests. The teams develop a plan to resolve a problem for a community or population. No more waiting around for someone to find you something to do! The end result is that the organization makes a greater impact in the communities served and volunteers are motivated to continue to give their time towards achieving the goals they set forth to achieve.
By: Jen Albert-Collins, Partnership Liaison – firstname.lastname@example.org
SDV Network has researched and developed a structured framework for engaging and implementing Self Directed Volunteer Teams (SDV Teams). Let us help you get your teams going!