4 Comments

Go to the profile of Curt Luthye
Curt Luthye 7 months ago

Another FANTASTIC article.

Go to the profile of Sue Carter Kahl
Sue Carter Kahl 7 months ago

Thanks, Curt! I have appreciated thinking through this issue with you. 

Go to the profile of Jayne Cravens
Jayne Cravens 7 months ago

I loathe wage replacement rates as the measurement of volunteer value. Most organizations use this rate and the number of volunteers and the number of hours as the ONLY measure of their success. It gives fuel to interns to sue, for labor unions to fight against volunteer engagement, and for board members to say, "let's lay off so and so and replace that role with a volunteer or two!" Thank you for posting this. Here's my last blog on a related subject: http://coyotecommunications.com/coyoteblog/2020/05/out-of-work-professionals-pushing-back-against-volunteer-engagement/

Go to the profile of Sue Carter Kahl
Sue Carter Kahl 7 months ago

Thanks for sharing your blog, Jayne! So many good points that influence this conversation. It reminds me that too often, the value proposition of engaging volunteers is that they are inexpensive labor rather than a unique value-add that complements the paid staff to advance the organization's mission. That sends a terrible message to volunteers and staff, as Susan Ellis often noted. 

I'm glad you brought up the overhead issue too. The desire to keep overhead low also prevents many organizations from investing in the volunteer function. As a result, they diminish the power of engaging volunteers. 

I hope that these blogs can inspire new conversations about volunteer engagement and that we can highlight more of the diverse ways that volunteers contribute to our missions and our communities.

Thanks for the comment and for your leadership on this issue!