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Understanding Volunteers -- Question & Answer Listing  
Viewing 1-4 of 4 Knowledge Entries
Question / Answer

Question:
Is there such a thing as "volunteer burnout" and if so, how do I recognize it my organization?

Answer:
Volunteer burnout is characterized by a volunteer’s persistent lack of enthusiasm and satisfaction with his/her volunteer position. Basically, the volunteer may be distracted, overwhelmed, lose perspective, appear dogmatic, cynical or intolerant, and/or lack interest in the organization. The symptoms of volunteer burnout are very similar to “personal burnout” or what paid employees experience when they feel overwhelmed with their responsibilities at work. If you seem to be having an unusually large turnover of volunteers (not to include those who leave an organization due to relocations), perhaps you have a volunteer burnout situation that needs to be addressed.

Question:
What are some of the different positions one might find in a Family Readiness Group (FRG)?

Answer:
There are a number of different volunteer positions you may find in a Family Readiness Group (FRG), but each FRG is unique. Each unit should design their FRG to meet their own needs and the interests of its members. The following is a list of positions suggested in the Army Family Readiness Group Leader’s Handbook. Detailed descriptions of these positions are included in the FRG Leader's Handbook: ·Battalion FRG Advisor—is a member of the FRG steering committee (may chair it); provides overall guidance and support for unit-level FRGs. ·Unit FRG Leader—provides overall leadership of the FRG; interacts with the unit commander and battalion FRG steering committee. ·FRG Secretary—maintains accurate minutes of meetings and distributes information and correspondence to the FRG leader and newsletter editor. ·FRG Treasurer—along with an alternate, serves as custodian for the FRG informal fund. ·Phonetree Committee Chairperson—organizes the unit phonetree; identifies and supervises phonetree points of contact. ·Phonetree Point of Contact (POC)—maintains regular contact with assigned families; passes along official information, and provides information to families. ·Battalion (or Unit) FRG Newsletter Editor—coordinates newsletter preparation, publishing, and distribution. ·Special Events Committee Chairperson—plans, organizes, and executes FRG activities and special events. ·Hospitality/Welcome Committee Chairperson—contacts and welcomes all new soldiers and families to the unit; helps them find needed resources. ·Publicity Committee Chairperson—informs all soldiers and family members in the FRG of all activities (ongoing and upcoming). ·Fundraiser Committee Chairperson—manages all FRG fundraising activities, including coordination, permission, and recruiting. ·Childcare Committee Chairperson—ensures acceptable childcare for FRG meetings and special events.

Question:
What are some reasons why volunteers leave an organization?

Answer:
There are a number of reasons why volunteers leave an organization. Some leave because they move away from the community. Sometimes individuals volunteer when they first move to a new community, but leave the organization when they find paid employment. Others leave because they are dissatisfied with their volunteer experience. They may not enjoy the work they are doing, or perhaps they are overwhelmed by their responsibilities and suffer from “volunteer burnout.” Others may feel their efforts are not appreciated. The key to retaining volunteers is to ensure that their motivational needs are being met by their volunteer experience. For more on this subject, refer to the resources provided.

Question:
What are some things I can do, as the leader of a volunteer organization, to find out why volunteers choose to leave?

Answer:
Develop a climate that encourages feedback between the volunteer and the organization. Hopefully, with the right atmosphere, you can resolve any issues with your volunteers before they escalate to a point where they wish to leave the organization. However, when volunteers do leave, solicit information from them about their reason for leaving (e.g. conduct an exit interview, surveys, questionnaires, etc).
Viewing 1-4 of 4 Knowledge Entries

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