A different kind of bookkeeping
Weâ€™ve been talking a lot about the big picture of volunteer management. But itâ€™s important to remember the detailsâ€”and the individual volunteersâ€”too.
We should take the time to sit down and map out all the people involved in running our associations. How long have they been around? Who have they recruited to join them in the leadership group? Are people starting to burn out because no oneâ€™s around to shoulder part of the load? Is leadership capacity slowly dwindling and dragging down the organization?
Someone just resignedâ€”does the president know what to do or does she just start performing that function herself? A new member writes an email wanting to get involvedâ€”how do you answer?
So often, we focus so singlemindedly on our programs and technical issues that we forget what I call â€œpeople bookkeeping.â€ Itâ€™s a little more qualitative, but in the long run, no less important than keeping the finances in order. Taking time to think through what will make volunteers happy and productively engaged has a tremendous ROI, even if that means scaling back other programs or initiatives for a time.