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The Call to Service: Is your Ministry Ready?

The Call to Service was stated loud and clear in President Elect Obama’s campaign and acceptance speech. He voiced the need for all of the Citizens of the US to work together to bring the US back to our standard of excellence. This causes me to ask all of us in Ministry Management; if we are ready for the onslaught of volunteers that will come knocking at our doors? Volunteers are the greatest asset any non-profit organization can have. Without them many of our doors would have closed a long time ago. However there are many pitfalls that can occur, if they are not properly managed.

The Partnership Resource Center suggests when considering working with volunteers to Ask yourself… • When do we need a volunteer? • Will the person be there on a short-term or long-term basis? • Does the person live in the community? Come from far away? • Is there budget to cover reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses? • Who is committed to supervise the volunteer? • Has management considered the risks and liability? • Is this a project more suited for a one or two day group project?

Then make sure that the volunteer goes through a recruitment process similar to a paid employee. Remember in the case of litigation the organization is responsible for the actions of the volunteer.

People want to volunteer for several reasons, but they fall typically under three categories. ? Achievement – Achievers are those who want to feel that they are making a genuine contribution and accomplishing very important work. Achievers often have specialized skills they want to use when volunteering. ? Ability to Influence – These are the people who want to have something to say about what and how things are done. They are the ones who can challenge us to look at things from a different perspective. ? Affiliation – Some people simply want to work with people they perceive as having similar values and goals. For them, the people with whom they work and the organizational identity is very important.

Public Service will be on the rise again in this season of optimism. Smart, pro-active moves now will increase the amount of people willing to serve others through your community. Source: http://www.partnershipresourcecenter.org/resources/volunteers/usdafs-r6-volunteer-guide.pdf