I Speak Volunteer. You?

volunteerplaintalk

I Speak Volunteer You

Are volunteer managers world travelers? Do we venture into exotic lands where the inhabitants speak a foreign language and do not understand the words we speak?

If you’ve ever stood up in a staff meeting to give a presentation on volunteering and the attendees glazed over while checking their devices, you know what I mean. They don’t understand the odd, volunteer language coming out of our mouths.

For example, what are common volunteer management phrases and typical staff responses:

“Our selfless volunteers who are caring and compassionate.”  HUH? So what? I’m caring and compassionate too, but that doesn’t get the mountains of work done.

“Our volunteers gave 6,000 hours last month making our clients lives better.”WHAT? Who gave $6,000 and why wasn’t I informed? I’m in charge of donations here! The nerve!

“Volunteers give from their heart.” Yeah, that’s nice but I give from my heart…

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