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luvhockey
29-07-2008, 08:39 AM
A recent study shows that volunteerism is slowly going the way of the dinosours.It says that people are getting more concerned about themselfs and caring less about others. And it shows. This year the critical shortage of volunteers at the Indy, World baseball championships etc. etc. where the few volunteers who did show up worked their butts off. My hat off to them.
Is it time to maybe form a volunteer organisation that is the main body where all festivals and events go to recruit volunteers? I have talked to a few organisers of events in Edmonton and a few are mulling over if they should just cancell thei yearly events. Lot of these events are lucky to break even so they desperatly rely on volunteers but with such a critical shortage of volunteers our label as City of Festivals may be in grave danger.
Any thoughts?

DebraW
29-07-2008, 08:58 AM
There is Volunteer Edmonton, Volunteer Alberta whose mandate is volunteers (along with others in the GEA).

Volunteerism is NOT a dying breed.

However, how and who volunteers is changing (evolving).

luvhockey
29-07-2008, 09:52 AM
The Journal has a 6 part story in the ENGAGE section and it goes into details of studys that show that 70% of all volunteering is done by 5% of the population. Also it says that the baby-boomers say volunteering is not a priority.
It gives reasons like high cost of gas to people worrying about themselfs more as the reasoning.
All one has to do is look on this sites volunteer section and see the lack of interest to volunteer for things.

EdmYeg
29-07-2008, 09:57 AM
I don't think that is a fair assessment.

"A recent study shows that volunteerism is slowly going the way of the dinosours.It says that people are getting more concerned about themselfs and caring less about others. "

Have you seen the cost of living lately? People are working more and more to make ends-meat.

How can someone volunteer when their rent goes up $500 a shot?

Like I always have said....we are here together and when one cog in the wheel is affected we all get affected.

luvhockey
29-07-2008, 10:03 AM
Just repeating what the story says. I fully agree with you that with us working longer hours to make ends meet the last thing we have is free time to volunteer with.
I notice that the places like the Indy has to perk up the incentives each year just to atract volunteers. Then there are events that can't afford to offer perks and those are the ones that will be folding in the years to come.

Casa
29-07-2008, 10:22 AM
I don't know, people are becoming more and more, "its my time, I am not going to share it". I find this common of parents - I had to actually force my parents into a weekly schedule this past year with my brownies so that I could effectively run the unit. Not having another dedicated pair of hands was definetely hard though.

So hard, that unless I get another volunteer this year, I am going to have to cap my unit at 8 girls - when normally there are 20 that enroll.

Thomas Hinderks
29-07-2008, 10:29 AM
The phenomena is quite real...

In our case our volunteer base is aging, those coming in are similar ages

Very few of the Boomer generation are taking the time to become engaged in the community like their parents before them.

Not for profits have tried many combined and individual initiatives but the trend is continuing...still looking for solutions.

Where it comes back to hurt is when we do have to start hiring staff to do tasks previously done by volunteers...drives costs up, operational expenses up and the circle continues.

We try to hold admissions and education program costs down but it is eventually going to start having an effect.

And it isn't just heritage, its across the volunteer spectrum.

You can't blame anyone for making hay while the sunshines, but it comes at a cost farther down the food chain.

Tom

DebraW
29-07-2008, 10:34 AM
I do not agree with blanketing all young people with the statement that they are volunteering less and leaving it like that.

I think that this group more than any other demographic is being more strategic in their volunteering and they have more (and different) demands on their time than any other generation ever has.

Casa
29-07-2008, 10:48 AM
I wasn't blanketing, because I am still younger, and single, and childless, then most of the parents of the children I work with on a weekly basis.

If i was blanketing anyone, it was the parents - in their attitude of "I paid my registration fees and here is my child for 1.5 hours a week, I am out of here for MY time".

DebraW
29-07-2008, 10:51 AM
^ I was not referring to you.

Thomas Hinderks
29-07-2008, 10:54 AM
I don't think there is a blame game to be played to be honest.

The world is changing and as a result we are seeing some of the effects. I do sympathize with what Casa is saying though. We run a number of programs and see the same thing.

Many, but not the majority, of people want to be able to take advantage of the cost savings provided by volunteer efforts, but expect the volunteers to act like employees.

It makes it even tougher to keep volunteers in key positions so everyone has an opportunity to affordably access programs.

Its a tough circle...that said there are some great volunteers of ALL ages out there and I agree teenagers rarely get the recognition they deserve.

Tom

luvhockey
29-07-2008, 11:01 AM
So hard, that unless I get another volunteer this year, I am going to have to cap my unit at 8 girls - when normally there are 20 that enroll.

My girlfriend volunteers a lot with small children and they have had to close 4 programs this summer because of a critical shortage of volunteers. They are concerned for next summer because by January it looks like they will have to cancell 5 more programs for next year. And that is just the downwards spiral we will all see by this time next year.

dbegin
29-07-2008, 11:58 AM
What an interesting thread... I too dislike blanket statements about any group and I don't believe that volunteers are a dying breed. I do have to agree though that volunteers are becoming more strategic though. For me it has meant volunteering closer to home and being able to do some things from home. Having managed volunteers I understand the challenges, but some organizations need to rethink how to get people involved because the way they did years ago may not work anymore. (which is not an easy task...)

PrincessAngel
29-07-2008, 12:13 PM
Luvhockey, you should tell your gf about the Everyone for Edmonton event. That would be the perfect place to try to recruit for volunteers and raise awareness. Check out the guest column or edmonton.com/eedc (http://edmonton.com/eedc)

DebraW
29-07-2008, 01:13 PM
Volunteers are vital



Volunteers play a vital role in Canadian society. Across Canada, volunteers are engaged in delivering services and programs that improve and enhance the life of our communities. Edmontonians are recognized as being among the most generous of volunteers. Every person who volunteers deserves our respect and heartfelt thanks for the difference they make to Edmonton and society.

Volunteers are people just like you!



Some facts about this sector:



Non-profit/voluntary organizations are essential to a prosperous economic environment.

Non-profit/voluntary GDP was $25.4 billion or 2.5% of the Canadian economy in 2001.

Alberta has the highest number of non-profit/voluntary organizations in Canada.

Alberta’s non-profit/voluntary sector generated $9 billion in revenue (2003).

Alberta’s 19,000 non-profit/voluntary organizations employed 105,000 people (2003).

DebraW
29-07-2008, 01:17 PM
What are Volunteers?

Volunteers are involved in virtually every aspect of society including health, education, social services, youth, sports and recreation, culture, the arts and the environment. Some volunteers give just one hour of time each week; others devote many hours. Volunteers are involved in one-time events as well as ongoing commitments. Some choose to volunteer out in the community whereas others are virtual volunteers and do their volunteering from the comfort of home. Volunteers can work on their own or with others, do hands-on work or volunteer at an administrative or leadership level.

The United Nations (UN) defines Volunteering as an action that meets all three of the following criteria:

(a) it is undertaken freely and without coercion;

(b) it is undertaken for reasons other than financial gain;

(c) it is undertaken to benefit the community as well as the volunteer.

DebraW
29-07-2008, 01:23 PM
Quick Facts: (from Volunteer Alberta)


• 25% of volunteers contributed 75% of all volunteer hours, giving up to 448 hours or more of their time.

• 50% of volunteers began volunteering because they were asked.

• 43% of volunteers began by approaching a voluntary organization on their own.

• 48% of Albertans volunteered an average of 175 hours per person.

• 45% of Canadians volunteered an average of 168 hours per person.

• In 2004. Albertans volunteered 214 million hours, or the equivalent of 11 000 individuals volunteering full time.



Why Albertans Volunteer:


• 93% of Albertans decided to volunteer because they wanted to contribute positively to their community.

• 78% chose to volunteer because they wanted the chance to use their skills and expertise.

• 75% volunteer because of a personal link to a cause supported by an organization.



Where Albertans Volunteer:



• Many people often volunteer for more than one type of organization.

• Sports & Recreation 14% of total volunteers 20% of total hours.

• Education & Research 12% of total volunteers 13% of total hours.

• Social Services 12% of total volunteers 14% of total hours.

• Religion 11% of total volunteers 15% of total hours.

*For the complete report, visit: www.volunteeralberta.ab.ca (http://www.volunteeralberta.ab.ca/)

DebraW
29-07-2008, 01:31 PM
Volunteer Resources in Greater Edmonton:


Alberta's YouthVOLUNTEER! (http://www.youthvolunteer.ca/) -- www.youthvolunteer.ca (http://www.youthvolunteer.ca)

Alberta's (http://www.youthvolunteer.ca/)YouthVOLUNTEER! (http://www.youthvolunteer.ca/) is an online volunteer hub designed specifically for youth. Search for opportunities from Edmonton and area by looking under 'North' and then 'Edmonton and area' for the information that pertains to the Edmonton region.

Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) (http://www.ecvo.ca/) -- www.ecvo.ca (http://www.ecvo.ca)

The Edmonton Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (ECVO) is a collaborative effort initiated by a variety of community-based not-for-profit organizations. The ECVO will strive to support the work of its members and partners, not to duplicate their efforts. That will be done through a range of initiatives: networking meetings, creating coalitions with other organizations, meetings with key-decision makers at various levels of government, information sessions with special speakers, and research and publications.

Information and Volunteer Centre for Strathcona County (http://www.ivcstrathcona.org/) (IVC) -- www.ivcstrathcona.org (http://www.ivcstrathcona.org/)

Primarily the IVC offers two services: The community information hotline can tell you everything you need to know about programs and services in Strathcona County and IVC is the authority on Volunteerism in Strathcona County.

St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (http://www.st-albert.info/) -- www.st-albert.info (http://www.st-albert.info)

St. Albert Community Information and Volunteer Centre (http://www.st-albert.info/) serves many functions not only for the St. Albert community but the surrounding communities as well. These include: Volunteer Centre, Community Information Hotline, Babysitting Registry and Certified Babysitting Courses, Non-profit Agency Management Assistance, Sidekicks - an adult/youth mentoring program.

Volunteer Alberta (http://www.volunteeralberta.ab.ca/) -- www.volunteeralberta.ab.ca (http://www.volunteeralberta.ab.ca/)

Volunteer Alberta has been working with Alberta Communities and volunteer centers for the past 15 years. Volunteer Alberta's goals are to ensure: Alberta's communities have increased capacity to support volunteerism; Volunteer Alberta is a key voice for volunteerism in Alberta; Volunteer Alberta's programs and services are progressive in meeting the needs of our members.

Volunteer Canada (http://www.volunteer.ca/) -- www.volunteer.ca (http://www.volunteer.ca)

Volunteer Canada is the national voice for volunteerism in Canada. Since 1977, Volunteer Canada has been committed to supporting volunteerism and civic participation through ongoing programs and special projects.

Volunteer Edmonton -- www.volunteeredmonton.com (http://www.volunteeredmonton.com/)

Volunteer Edmonton’s mission is “building healthy communities through volunteerism... one volunteer at a time.” Volunteer Edmonton is a bridge to link and facilitate complementary efforts, across multiple organizations and sectors, to generate positive outcomes in volunteering.

DebraW
29-07-2008, 01:33 PM
I am a Volunteer!


My challenge to the community:

I volunteer. What about you?

If you do not volunteer why not, what are you waiting for?

Do not tell me you do not have time.

I volunteer at least 20 hours a week and have been doing so for years. If I can do it why can’t you?

I volunteered while employed full time, while ill with a debilitating disorder, while attending post-secondary school full time and now as a communications consultant. I have a family (husband/menagerie and extended family), close friends, groups and professional associations that vie for my valuable time and talents. But I ALWAYS make time to volunteer, to share my gifts because it is important to me and it allows me to explore so many other sides and sectors of Edmonton—to meet fantastic people and have opportunities I would not have otherwise.

If you wait for work or school, family—life—to be perfect you will be waiting forever. Life is what happens now and it is what you make of it.

Volunteer, it does everybody good.

Thomas Hinderks
29-07-2008, 04:14 PM
Great posts

Tom

luvhockey
29-07-2008, 04:31 PM
Great posts Debra, just wish they would update those stats to reflect todays economy and stuff. Most are at least 5 years old. Maybe they need a volunteer to update lol
The World has changed drasticaly in 5 years and new studys less willingness to volunteer. www.canadawhocares.ca (http://www.canadawhocares.ca)

DebraW
29-07-2008, 04:47 PM
I agree that these research numbers/stats need to be updated.

BTW, these posts are from some work I did for the GoA in advance of a Non-profit/Volunteer sector initiative (with tailoring for C2E!).

howie
29-07-2008, 07:40 PM
I have no problem with volunteerism for non-profit concerns, but when events like the big money Indy and Baseball come looking for volunteers it smacks heavily of free labour.

Okay, okay, I know it's for the greater good of the community, and all that, to have these events here, but when you know how stupidly rich some of these organizations are, they can damn well afford to pay people for their work like any other employer.

luvhockey
29-07-2008, 09:13 PM
^^ So true. All one has to do is look at the Olympics who make billions every 2 years and yet 90% of their work force are volunteers. But you know why that is? Because they can offer more perks to intice volunteers. They get jackets made with slave laboure and then give them to the volunteers. Geez i'm sure the local girl guides cant afford to entice any volunteers like that.

DebraW
29-07-2008, 09:18 PM
An Alberta "Super Volunteer" Snapshot

An Alberta “Super Volunteer” is defined thus “She is a female Albertan between the ages of 35 and 54 who is either married or involved in a common-law relationship. She would likely have a university degree, attend religious services on a weekly basis, have school aged children and live in a household with a high yearly income (over $60,000).

I am an archetypical Alberta “Super Volunteer” except my “school aged children” are four legged or have feathers!

DebraW
29-07-2008, 09:25 PM
This is a topic (volunteering) that I feel passionately about and have done a lot of research and writing about as a result.

These are some of my favourite quotes on the subject:



Quotes on Volunteers and Volunteering


"No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted"
-- Aesop

"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth."
-- Muhammad Ali (http://www.cultureofpeace.org/profiles.html?profile=ali.htm)

“When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined.”
-- Bono (http://www.cultureofpeace.org/profiles.html?profile=bono.htm)

“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.”
-- Helen Dyer

"Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It's important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It's the way in which we ourselves grow and develop..."
-- Dr. Dorothy I. Height

“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.“
-- Quincy Jones

“Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.”
-- Martin Luther King, Jr. (http://www.cultureofpeace.org/profiles.html?profile=king.htm)

"The measure of a life is not its duration, but its donation."
-- Peter Marshall

"What volunteers bring is the human touch, the individual, caring approach that no government program, however well-meaning and well- executed, can deliver."
-- Edward James Olmos (http://www.cultureofpeace.org/profiles.html?profile=olmos.htm)

"If you think the efforts of one individual will be nothing, then you have never been to bed with a mosquito".
-- Betty Reese

“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.”
-- Marianne Williamson (http://www.cultureofpeace.org/profiles.html?profile=williamson.htm)

kcantor
29-07-2008, 10:22 PM
A recent study shows that volunteerism is slowly going the way of the dinosours.It says that people are getting more concerned about themselfs and caring less about others. And it shows. This year the critical shortage of volunteers at the Indy, World baseball championships etc. etc. where the few volunteers who did show up worked their butts off. My hat off to them.
Is it time to maybe form a volunteer organisation that is the main body where all festivals and events go to recruit volunteers? I have talked to a few organisers of events in Edmonton and a few are mulling over if they should just cancell thei yearly events. Lot of these events are lucky to break even so they desperatly rely on volunteers but with such a critical shortage of volunteers our label as City of Festivals may be in grave danger.
Any thoughts?
i don't believe volunteers are a dying breed (or at least dying any faster than the rest of the breeds). i do however believe that they may be spread "thinner" as more and more events and causes make more and more demands on their time. if there was one "volunteer event" i would eliminate, it would be casino nights - not for any moral or philosophical reasons but because too many groups from sport organizations to community leagues have come to rely on them as their primary fund-raising activity. what this means is that for one or two nights every two years, these groups are "raising" large amounts of capital that gets placed in their bank accounts and while their organizations now have capital, their "volunteers" aren't needed for another two years. many of the other endeavors they would have participated in in years past are no longer held - as they are not capable of raising the same amount of money - and there is no longer a regular community commitment being met. at the same time, for two years many of these people will feel "they have done their bit" because there is money in the bank rather than developing the habit of putting in time. the second thing i see that does not enter into the totals are the thousands of hours spent attending chartiy/volunteer functions and the many more thousands of dollars spent purchasing tickets for the "privilege" of attending and spending money at silent auctions etc. etc. these are both voluntary activities and actions that support many good causes even though they don't qualify as volunteering.

luvhockey
30-07-2008, 07:47 AM
with 17,000 non-profit groups in Alberta it's no wonder they are spread thin. However at the same time it is very close to being the same number a few years back so if the numbers are the same in groups but there is a huge shortage of volunteers then it is easy to see and say that volunteers ARE a dying breed. Figures show this and the Canadian Volunteer association supports these numbers.

rovertnnud63
12-10-2009, 08:11 PM
I don't think that volunteers are a dying breed; I think we just fail to initiate them into that type of lifestyle from when they are young. There are places that have youth surrounded by a volunteer community, such as some listed on this webiste: http://www.dimd.nait.ca/~tdunn5/dmd311/seoWebsite/ (http://www.dimd.nait.ca/%7Etdunn5/dmd311/seoWebsite/)
We just need to encourage and educate more.

cnr67
21-03-2010, 07:30 PM
I volunteer for the MS society on the 150 bike tour to Camrose and the Mountain bike tour in Hinton. I spent 10 years at the Alberta Railway Museum before kidlings greatly reduced that time I once had. And presently hold membership with the Olde Towne Beverly Historical Society.:smt041