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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

For those of you new to volunteer management, you must be wondering, what does the future hold? Will I change the world? Will my office be overrun with mewing kittens wearing panda costumes?

There are actually 5 well researched volunteer management stages as referenced by the “We Squeeze Everything into 5 Stages” Institute. The Institute is famous for ground breaking studies such as “the 5 stages of falling down” and “the 5 stages of a stage.”

In this particular study, the institute interviewed two former volunteer managers and came up with their findings. One of the interviewees, Kevin, now works in real estate and the other, Imelda, now lives in a tent on Redondo Beach.  From the quick phone interview, the institute found that each volunteer management stage has its own set of questions or comments as recorded from the former volunteer managers. The 5 stages are:

1. Denial:

Kevin:”I can’t believe they gave me a stapler that won’t work on packets of more than 4 pages.”

Imelda: ” Who wrote this volunteer recruitment ad for caring hearts, strong stomachs?”

2. Anger:

Kevin: “If you won’t call the new volunteer that I just spent a week training, then stop asking for volunteers if you don’t really have time for them.”

Imelda: “BTW, why is the budget for volunteer recruitment only $59 a year while the senior manager “take special care of yourself because you matter” retreat cost hundreds?”

3. Bargaining:

Kevin: “Look, I’ll take your nephew, who has to do 125 supervised community service hours if you will just come and speak at our next volunteer meeting. Ok, even if you only answer questions. Ok, just 3 questions.”

Imelda: “Hey universe, if I let volunteer Big Dan write a country song for our luncheon this year, can we at least not serve chicken again?”

4. Depression:

Kevin: “Yeah, I know, you’ve already told me many times that if I would just go out and recruit the Dowager’s Tea Sippers Guild, I would get all the help we need.”

Imelda: “Here comes volunteer Andi with that look in her eye and she’s going to tell me all about the complications from her gall bladder surgery again.”

5. Acceptance:

Kevin: “My volunteer coordinator peer group meeting is next week…I can survive until then. I wonder if any of them have the contact person for the Dowager’s Tea Sippers Guild?”

Imelda: “I had no idea that there was so much flatulence after gall bladder surgery. Boy, you learn something new everyday.”

Well, there you have it. I wish this was more scientific, but you can’t argue with an Institute.

What volunteer management stage are you in?