Take the time to talk about time


How many times have you heard an association president say to a potential volunteer, “Oh, this position won’t take much time.”

I’ve been surveying experienced volunteers the last few weeks and the common theme has been that they were not told how much time their volunteer commitment would really take. In every case, it took a whole lot more time!

This has led to frustration on the part of volunteers as they had to give up business or personal appointments to serve or they missed meetings. This is bad for the association and the volunteer.

How can we fix this?

The association and those recruiting need to be far more accurate estimating the time required by providing more information to the volunteer:

– A short explanation of the long term goals of the association – give them the big picture

– The mandate for the committee or task force the volunteer will serve on

– The schedule and location of meetings and the estimated time for each meeting

– Estimating time for reading and preparing for meetings

– Indicating any other events the volunteer may attend (AGM, volunteer leadership training)


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