Thursday, May 25, 2006

A Salute to Volunteers

After the glow of activist participation has dimmed a few things will come to mind:

One can never thank the volunteers enough.
When planning an action - keep in mind that people are participating by donating their time, personal resources, talent and funds to its success. If you're going to write a summary of the day, ask yourself, have I written a note of thanks to the volunteers yet? If the answer is no, then get those emails written first. Because folks will compromise their schedules to fit these actions in, so while you're sending follow up emails to the new contacts in your Palm Pilot, send a personal thank you note to the volunteers, too.

Volunteers can't live on love-of-country alone.
I've worked on independent film projects where many folks are donating their time and talent for free. We, at the very least, will provide a break for folks to grab a bite or provide lunch, snacks, beverages. If this is not in your schedule, then you haven't planned it through. If you can't do this, then find someone who can.

DO NOT get huffy with volunteers.
You lose your temper, you lose respect. Check acerbic tendencies at the door. Consider yourself Ambassador to VolunteerLandia. If your strength isn't dealing with people, then allow someone else to guide your volunteers.

Just remember that each member's participation is invaluable. Make it a beneficial experience for them as well.

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