When you volunteer for the bake sale and they say everything is 'under control'...

The Volunteer Diaries, aka ‘How to Not be a B!*# to Volunteers’ is a parody on volunteering in schools and clubs in Australia.

Sarah (like so many of us) has put her hand up to volunteer at the bake sale. Someone has to do it, right? They keep asking so they must be desperate. 

So Sarah reorganises her day, the babysitter was late, she has to rush Luke to soccer and Kate to Netball… just to arrive at the bake sale only to find SHE WAS NO LONGER  NEEDED!

That’s right, everything was ‘under control’. Right. Cheers for that.

The organiser had clearly gone to great lengths to make certain that everything was perfect. Being ‘capable’ is a highly desired quality in today’s society. ’Do it all’ and ‘Do it well’! Not that there is anything wrong with that, BUT by doing so, our efficient organiser has diminished the opportunity for others to make a contribution – to feel valued – to simply belong.

By not taking advantage of a volunteer’s valuable time, you are treating them like a plentiful commodity that can be wasted. In a busy parent’s life every.hour.matters.

Nothing will kill volunteer motivation more quickly than being told you’re not needed. Once volunteer motivation is dead, it is very hard to bring it back to life. It is a simple rule: never take the gift of a volunteer’s time for granted!

A recovering lawyer, Mandy Weidmann is Australia’s ‘Fundraising Whisperer’ – publisher of the Fundraising Directory and author of the Practical Fundraising Handbook for School and Club Volunteers. Mandy believes that parent volunteers shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel all the time and is passionate about providing resources to make fundraising easier (and more fun!).