Current Affairs in Volunteerism

CurrentAffairs in Volunteerism

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Volunteeringis an altruistic activity that aims at promoting goodness as well asimproving the quality of life. Volunteering produces the feelings ofrespect as well as self-worth. Volunteers get the taste of the joythat comes from giving. They get the proof of the words, “there ismore happiness in giving, than there is in receiving. There is nofinancial gain associated with volunteering. However, the work thatis done by volunteers needs to be managed. The volunteers themselvesshould be managed and directed on how to go about the many duties andchores of everyday life. The poor management of volunteers mayreduce the sense of happiness and contentment that is associated withvolunteer work. Therefore, non-profit organizations should endeavorto treat, engage and manage the individual volunteers well. In thisarticle, I make the attempt od discussing and analyzing the differentchallenges that many non-profit organizations face when managing thevolunteer workers. This article outlines the solution to suchchallenges.

Volunteeringtaps into the natural urge that many people have to help otherpeople. The urge enables the individuals to show commitment in theirwork during their engagement, thus providing a safe outlet for theirsocial concern. Commitment is linked to competence. This suggeststhat volunteer workers feel more committed when they make greatachievements. Research shows that competence is the product of theindividual’s motivation, skills and ability. Commitment is made upof three elements, namely: desire to remain in an organization,accepting the organization’s values and goals, and the will toexert much effort on behalf of the organization. An individual’scommitment is also affected by several factors. The factors mayinclude: job experience, personal characteristics, the structure ofthe organization, and the personnel policy and practice[ CITATION Ste04 l 1033 ].Commitment develops where the volunteers freely give their time andenergy to the organizations of their choice and endeavorsto get a sense of achievement in their respective role.

Vecina,Chocon, Marzana &amp Marta, (2013) conducted a study with the aim ofdetermine the relationship between work engagement and commitment toorganizations. The study was conducted on some 18 non- profitorganizations. The strategy employed showed distinctiveness andshowed that the organizations related differently to the outcomes ofinterest. Many expect that the organizational commitment can predictthe intention to remain while work engagement predicts thepsychological well-being. The results of the study indicated acompletely different relationship pattern. The relationship betweenengagement and intention to remain is solely mediated by commitment.The relationship between commitment and psychological well-being liessolely on engagement. Regression analyses show that commitmentpredicts the intention to remain, and not engagement. On the otherhand, engagement, and not commitment is responsible for theprediction of the psychological well-being. The findings of thestudy carried on some 232 volunteers can be used to differentiatebetween the two concepts as well as developing the specific nonprofitorganization strategies of management[ CITATION Vec13 l 1033 ].

Managingvolunteers can be both rewarding and frustrating for many humanresource managers. Managing the volunteers can prove to be trickysince unlike other workers, the volunteers are not paid. Volunteerswork like any other workers in an organization and they still need tobe managed like the other employees. Non-profit organizations runningon a tight budget depend on volunteers in performing the day to daytasks and duties. Therefore, the human resource managers andsupervisors are expected to keep the volunteers happy and successful,while enforcing the work they are supposed to do. Many people believethat unlike the paid workers, volunteers should be treateddifferently. However, it is noted that the unpaid human resourcesshould be managed like the other workers. Though they are not paid,volunteers are compensated in different ways.

Theroles of the volunteers should be clearly defined. Just like theother employees, volunteers may fail to fit in certain roles. Thoughthey do not get the salary, volunteers should be recruited carefully,they should be supervised, receive training, and their performanceshould be monitored carefully.

Manyvolunteers work with the best intentions. Therefore, they can proveto be an amazing set of human resource. However, problems may comeup. Almost all non-profit organizations have had trouble makers,unhappy volunteers as well as unfulfilled duties. Nevertheless, it isgood to remember that each and every volunteer wants to do a greatjob. The volunteers should be allowed to come up with the solutionsto the problems that may arise. At times, a volunteer may be in thewrong position for his/her talent, and a shuffle would be required(Miller-Merrell,2011).

Inorder to find the correct place for the volunteers, the managersshould ensure that the volunteers know what is required of them. Theyshould also have the right tools in order to complete the tasks.Volunteers should be given a chance to do what they like most. A goodconversation between the supervisors and the volunteer workers maywork wonders.


Miller-Merrell,J. (2011). ManagingVolunteers: Challenges of Non-Profit Organizations – Blogging4Jobs.Blogging4Jobs.Retrieved 23 April 2015, from

Stebbins, R. A., &amp Graham, M. (2004). Volunteering As Leisure/leisure As Volunteering: An International Assessment. Wallingford: CABI.