Engaged Leadership in Volunteer Organizations
One of the greatest challenges facing contemporary organizations that rely on volunteer staffing is the successful recruitment and retention of capable, committed volunteers. While volunteer recruitment and retention have traditionally been a challenge for many of these organizations, numerous societal dynamics have impacted the availability of individuals who possess both the time and desire to volunteer their time and talents.
This chapter considers the unique challenges associated with a volunteer staffing model in terms of successful personnel recruitment and retention. The role of leadership in the effective and efficient recruitment, motivation, empowerment, and retention of volunteers is examined. The application of leadership theories in a volunteer setting is discussed.
A central theme of the chapter is the set of unique challenges of volunteer management and the role of sound leadership in managing an organization’s vital resource: its volunteers. The chapter advocates the role of leadership in enhancing the satisfaction, productivity, and contribution of volunteers so as to gain their commitment to an organization and their dedication toward lending their time and talents to fulfilling its mission.