The Volunteer as Leader
Recruiting volunteers to be the leaders or presidents of their organizations can be a daunting task. Once there, these leaders take on the role with varying levels of effectiveness. Given their brief leadership reigns and the unusual circumstances bringing them to the position in the first place, it’s no wonder their success can be haphazard. Though they may have minimal leadership experience, they are expected to be passionate promoters of their cause, highly visible organizational members, fundraisers extraordinaire, brilliant organizers, and empathetic and encouraging managers. The volunteers who take on leadership of these organizations must be skilled in working not only with volunteers, but also with paid staff and the general community as well. This article highlights the need for recognizing the various populations with whom a non-paid leader will interact and offers some advice on making the most of those relationships.