Tag: <span>community</span>

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

Reciprocity Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Worth

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

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

1 Abandon numbers and dollars when describing volunteer value. In folk tales, when a gift is counted or priced, it loses its magic.1 2 Remember that you cannot measure everything that matters, especially when it comes to community and volunteerism. As William Bruce Cameron puts it, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not…

Volunteer Impact Volunteer Worth

A colleague recently reached out with a question about volunteer demographics. His team wanted to collect them more consistently and thoughtfully. They wondered when the best time would be to ask for demographics: upfront in the application or after the volunteers were on board. Either way, they planned to make the reporting optional. I immediately…

Adaptive Leadership Equity Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning

Nonprofit leaders love to extol the virtues of volunteers. They declare that volunteers are the heart of the organization. They assert that the organization cannot do what it does without volunteer involvement.   Yet the dirty little secret of the nonprofit sector is that many of these same leaders think that volunteers are more trouble…

Reciprocity Volunteer Impact

As the year wraps up, I want to thank you for visiting Volunteer Commons. My word for the year was dare. One way I practiced daring was to get content out of the journals pictured above and into the world. The best part of this daring was finding community at the other end of a…

Reflecting and Learning

I think a lot about the relationship between volunteerism and community. It is easy to see volunteerism as an extension of community. But sometimes I wonder if we need volunteerism because we have a deficit of community. Or that volunteerism is a way that we outsource community to institutions like nonprofits or government agencies. It…

Uncategorized

Disasters have a way of showing us the tensions that lie just under the surface of our pretenses. In the U.S., that shows up as an espoused belief in community and communal ideals even as we celebrate rugged individualism and bootstrapping, rags-to-riches successes. We are especially conflicted about volunteering because it holds an inherent cognitive…

Making the Invisible Visible Reciprocity