Call of the clueless

The Nonprofiteer is considering dropping a dime to PETV (People for the Ethical Treatment of Volunteers) about this latest outrage committed by a volunteer coordinator.  In response to a volunteer’s e-mail resigning from weekly 4-hour shifts answering a hotline because in 4 weeks of shifts the hotline had never rung, the coordinator wrote,

I’m sorry to hear this! 

I absolutely do understand . . . how disheartening it might feel when the phone doesn’t ring. . . .

May I ask, how much time are you thinking of contributing each week?  I was hopeful that, after spending some time with the reception desk, you might be interested in another opportunity I’ve been developing and wrestling with in my head for about a month now…

I have found my time as Volunteer Manager to be squeezed by the other half of my position (Individual Giving) and need a volunteer assistant.  While I haven’t developed an official job description, here is what I envision that volunteer doing…

  • Compiling Volunteer Request forms from Staff (those that they submit when in need of a volunteer)
  • Preparing the Volunteer Recruitment email sent every two weeks to all volunteers
  • Receiving responses from volunteers (via email . . .) who are able to assist with specific projects, events, or attend trainings – scheduling and following up with them.
  • Communicate with prospective volunteers (return phone inquiries) and schedule them for volunteer orientation sessions.

I think this can all be completed with volunteering twice weekly, for a total of 8 hours per week…

To learn the actual time it takes, we could possibly start by having you tackle some of these components individually and then others as time permits.

We can discuss further if you’re interested!

Thanks so much!

The erstwhile volunteer, being neither desperate nor a nincompoop, translated for the Nonprofiteer:

[He] essentially wants me to volunteer to be the effective volunteer manager while he gets paid to do the job and carry the title.  [Just] sharing my umbrage . . . . And, yes needless to say I told him no.

So let’s try this in words of one syllable in honor of what’s apparently the average level of intelligence among volunteer managers:

A vol-un-teer who quits be-cause a task is point-less is not there-by ask-ing for a full-time job.  S/he cer-tain-ly does not want to do YOUR full-time job.  It’s YOUR job to fig-ure out what needs do-ing in your group, and to make sure no one’s asked to do what does NOT need do-ing. 

You dolt.

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One Response to “Call of the clueless”

  1. Anita Bernstein Says:

    This reaction might be a smidge harsh. Yes, the volunteer manager is trying to offload his real job on this genuine volunteer. But I’m not sure why that’s so terrible. If your correspondent really likes the organization and wishes it well, maybe he’d like to give it the gift of services that the organization has regarded as worthy of a salary. And if not, he could just say no. I found the improvised volunteer-job description more attractive than answering ringless phones, although surely it will consume more than eight hours a week.

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