Voluntarism and Volunteers

Volunteers – an event’s most valuable commodity.

Most events could not be possible if there were no volunteers. It would be cost-prohibitive to put on most any event including the big marathon’s if there were no volunteers. But what is a volunteer?

Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic [the principle or practice of concern for the welfare of others] activity where an individual or group provides services for no financial gain “to benefit another person, group or organization”.[1] Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served.[2] It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.

How well do you take care of the volunteers in your event? Do you treat, respect and communicate with them as though the are (as they are) the difference between impossible and possible and the one of the most important parts of the event? Do you, as a event organizer/coordinator, treat them with the highest level of service in mind and respect or do you take them for granted?

As an ex volunteer colleague once said – “When it is no longer fun, walk away!” or “My pay-check doesn’t change if i am here or not, but my expenses will certainly go down!”

Take care of your volunteers, treat them with the utmost respect, give them ownership and praise!

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