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Volunteers present unique challenges to nonprofit leaders but with the right approach they also offer countless benefits. Therese Markou speaks from experience – and her heart.

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This article was originally published in December 2017.

As anyone who has ever been in a management position will tell you, being an effective leader is difficult. This is true whether you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 listed company or a supervisor at a local retail store. Perhaps it’s even truer when you are managing that particular type of worker who keeps nonprofit organisations rolling along in pursuit of their mission: volunteers.

With no pay to take home, and no true contractual duty to show up and give 110% every shift, volunteers present a unique challenge to nonprofit leaders. There of their own volition, they can often outshine paid staff in terms of their passion and dedication, however without the sense of obligation that comes with remuneration and an employment agreement, this passion can easily go off track and inflict serious damage to your organisation’s brand. Helping volunteers feel supported and valued, while also ensuring they abide by organisational policies, is a…
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