Category: <span>Making the Invisible Visible</span>

In my volunteer value workshops, participants snap a picture of one slide more than any other: the iceberg. It seems to capture what many of us struggle to put into words. What is visible about volunteer value is small compared to all the ways that volunteers add value. The iceberg image also helps reveal the…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Impact

I just finished reading Fr. Gregory Boyle’s Barking to the Choir. The following sentence hooked me and wouldn’t let go. “We always seem to be faced with this choice: to save the world or savor it. I want to propose that savoring is better, and that when we seek to ‘save’ and ‘contribute’ and ‘give…

Equity Making the Invisible Visible Reciprocity Reflecting and Learning

Volunteer numbers. Service hours. The financial value of volunteer time. These are the figures tucked into reports on volunteerism. It’s all well and good for compliance. Yet it doesn’t tell us much about if or how volunteers had an impact on the community. Isn’t that interesting? The things we report most tell us little about…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Impact

When I taught strategic volunteer engagement, students often described their agencies’ work with volunteers as an afterthought. Sure, they involved volunteers, but there wasn’t much intention or investment in the effort. It seemed that having some volunteers in some roles was somewhat good enough. As if volunteers were just one more box to check, an…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning

Making the Invisible Visible Volunteer Impact Volunteer Worth

It’s been said that what gets measured gets managed. The adage is useful: the process of measurement supports goal setting and accountability. And yet, it can also fall short when it comes to things that are hard to measure or when the act of measurement is harmful or distracting. In those cases, it may be…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Retention

When I started out as the executive of a volunteer center, I thought volunteerism was a win-win-win for everyone involved. It seemed to offer benefits to volunteers, agency hosts, corporate partners, and the community at large. Right? Not entirely. The view up close revealed a more complex picture. In fact, I discovered a shadow side…

Adaptive Leadership Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning

Making the Invisible Visible Volunteer Impact Volunteer Worth

It was Martin Luther King Jr. Day which meant two things in my corner of social media: 1) lots of Dr. King’s quotes and 2) volunteer project photos. One post broke the mold though and stopped me in my tracks. Consultant and activist Breauna Dorelus said she wasn’t interested in my favorite MLK quote. She…

Equity Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning

You know the organization. The volunteer manual is gorgeous. The volunteers are involved in a variety of roles. The CEO highlights achievements during Volunteer Month. They check all the boxes on how to engage volunteers. You also know the Volunteer Director feels like she is carrying the entire volunteer effort on her shoulders. She struggles…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning