2006/02/10

Organizing Volunteer-based Events

Recent involvement in several volunteer-based events has resulted in a search for greater effectiveness in this area. Life is a journey, and along that road are many opportunities to get involved in or to initiate events that happen only because of the volunteers passionate about the events. Unfortunately for many of those volunteers, their passion, knowledge and skills are usually related to the event topic rather than to event organizing or volunteer coordination. As a result, what sometimes happens is those volunteers making events happen get unnecessarily burned out, frustrated and irritated because they are forced to spend so much time on organizational and managerial issues rather than on activities they are passionate about.

Because organizing and management aren't most volunteers' passions, one of the first action steps when planning and organizing a volunteer-based event should be to get one or two people on the planning team who are good at event management and coordinating and managing volunteers. Also important is that other people on the planning team should be working on activities about which they are enthused, areas in which they can be effective. They should not be talked into doing a job in which they are not interested and for which they are not prepared.

If deciding to organize or help organize an event put on by volunteers, one should develop a list of all the critical tasks for that event, then make a list of ideal organizing committee members and what tasks each member will coordinate. If the list of critical tasks is accurate, and you can recruit committee members who are passionate about their agreed-to responsibilities, the event will be a success.

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