Volunteers are the life force behind a good nonprofit outreach community organization . Woman2Woman Empowerment is no exception. . We are presently seeking volunteers to fill several positions within our organization. As you know all non profits are always seeking volunteers. We always need bodies to help in all areas of the organization. The more hands the merrier is what I use to think. This experience might have changed that mindset for me.
We placed a listing on several sites for volunteers for our program. Woman2Woman Empowerment offers the community of Tuscaloosa Alabama two program that primarily assist incarcerated and formerly incarcerated person in making a smooth transition back into the community. When we interview individuals we are seeking a certain type of person who is comfortable working with ex-offenders and who believes in 2nd, 3rd and even 4th chances.
Our organization is not one of those that is so hung up on everyone having a title and an elaborate position. We are more interested in assisting our target population in reaching and obtaining their goals. I am the founder and Exec Director and I hardly ever introduce myself as such. We try very hard to add people to our ranks that feel this way as well. We are not always successful. Sometimes one gets by us-for a minute anyway.
Non profits let me give you a word of warning
If your volunteer says:
- I am not interested in a position and then sends an email about how easy it will be to create a position for them in your company -This might not be a good match.
- While you and said volunteer are at a meeting and before you got there they told people about you and had to represent the organization ,but they never introduce you to the people they talked you up to at said meeting -This might not be a good match.
- We need to discuss a some sort of position to compensate for the research, connections and information (1 week’s worth by the way) of work that I have done for the organization since I’ve been here) -This might not be a good match.
- You would not have known about such and such if I had not told you about it. Even though its public knowledge in a public forum . This might not be a good match
- If after one week they feel that they are irreplaceable -This definitely is not a good match.
Now don’t get me wrong. The majority of volunteers want to do just that, volunteer with the organization. They are happy to be a part of your service organization. And to you, oh wonderful sincere volunteer, I take my hat and coat off to you. We love and welcome volunteers. Thank you so much for the extra pair of hands and feet and heart that you give to your community. You are not concerned with position or posturing . You are content to serve without a title or a check.
But there are a small constituency of persons who want to take over what you have spent blood sweat and years of tears to build. They feel they can do a better job or they have better ideas or better ability and skills. They are not content to just serve or be a leader within the ranks. They want to be CEO or Exec Director or Board Chairperson. They are coming for your position within the company.
If you are trying to take over my position while I am still in it then you might need …….
And with all the tact that you can muster ,you have to convey to them that your position is not open at this time. You have to remind them that the volunteer position they interviewed for is very important to the mission of the organization. And if they insist upon coming after your position with the subtleness of a rhino them you have to suggest to them that maybe ,just maybe this might not be a good match.!