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Thread: My volunteer credo

  1. #11
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by razz View Post
    I did the Master Gardener route and discovered that it was a "I know nothing" discovery process. Love that, Cath. I enjoyed the course and visiting with other gardeners at plant sales because I focused on 'native plants'. After three years, I realized that it was more a social than a service group and bowed out
    I belonged to a hort society that was really struggling so agreed to be a director for one year. The meetings were somewhat chaotic but one meeting, i heard one person describing her holidays, another her uncles's operation, another his visit to a garden centre, another complaining about something else, all as the chair was talking. Meetings that should have taken one hour took 2.5-3 hours. I reviewed the structure of the society, the director's role in the handbook I had received and brought a proposal based on the role of the director with prior notice to secretary to include time on the agenda. The chair announced that the society was a social group and the meeting did not need to follow the director's handbook model. I advised that I was not a good fit for the society and left. Never been back. It is still floundering very sadly.

    I now only volunteer with a clear role and expectations of both the volunteer and the organization outlined and followed.
    Clear expectations, I hear ya.

    And the long meetings. Our lily society board meetings always took 3+ hours. We covered the same topics ober and over.

    My friend is recruiting me for President of the othe rplant society. I told her before
    i would even consider that role, I want to see the bylaws of the organization. I want to see what dictates the events and programs of our society. I amalso s Mehwat worried about “the founder syndrome” where the 30+ year executive “retires” but soesnt really reitre.It happened in our lily society and I always joked with the President about “the shadow president, the teue President” because he never really let go of the reigns. We folded two years after his death.


    Also, I am sick and tired of organizations that operate outside of bylaws (they are outdated and no one ever updated them to reflect actual operations.) I wont take on another role of Boardor leadership without perusing the bylaws document. I have revised two set of bylaws and am currently working on a third.

  2. #12
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    I write a lot about organizations I am active in! I guess that is because its my life! And, I cant complain about family members because I dont really have any here other than DH.
    Last edited by iris lilies; 6-19-18 at 11:43am.

  3. #13
    Senior Member SteveinMN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Also, I am sick and tired of organizations that operate outside of bylaws (they are outdated and no one ever updated them to reflect actual operations.) I wont take on another role of Boardor leadership without perusing the bylaws document. I have revised two set of bylaws and am currently working on a third.
    My most recent board commitment before this year featured a combination of “the founder syndrome” and a set of bylaws that were incomplete when they were adopted 40 years earlier. That was my education... The "founder" pretty much kept any update from happening and the rest of the board wasn't strong enough to overrule him. I left. Much happier that way. I don't know if they are or not.
    If Americans expended even a fraction of the energy on civic engagement that we spend on consumer ideology, our democracy would be much healthier. Can you imagine people camping out to vote? -- Charles Roberts, Amherst, Mass., Nov. 25, 2006

  4. #14
    Senior Member Gardenarian's Avatar
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    Good for you IL!

    I am being badgered to run for office and am fed up with it. Just because I'm retired doesn't mean I want to give my life to administrating.

    Anyhow, I have an anarchist streak - I don't want to be the man, I want to bring him down

  5. #15
    Senior Member Sad Eyed Lady's Avatar
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    I am being very cautious when it comes to volunteering these days. I used to get involved in so many things and then I would end up being stuck forever it seemed because no one else wanted to do it. I don't mind "helping out" or doing something on a limited time basis, but I'm not getting into long term commitment again. Some good friends organized an arts guild a few years ago, and this year saw it really come into it's full scope - getting their building (donated) completed, classes going etc. I am a big supporter of this organization and one of the members asked me the other day "why aren't you in the arts guild?". I thought about this question a day or so, and the answer that came to me is when I get in something I can never get out! That has made me shy away from committing to things.
    "Like a bird on the wire, like a drunk in the midnight choir, I have tried in my way to be free." Leonard Cohen

  6. #16
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I've learned to avoid volunteering. I'm fine with working a library book sale or a quilt show--something with a beginning and end, but I'm not signing up for anything open-ended. I'm done with having to show up somewhere on a regular basis.

  7. #17
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    Me, too, Jane. I only do one volunteer activity that is scheduled- Tuesdays during the school year from 9:30-1:00. I love it having small groups in a reading room at the local elementary school. I get my kid fix (retired teacher) but no responsibility beyond the time I am there.

  8. #18
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sad Eyed Lady View Post
    I am being very cautious when it comes to volunteering these days. I used to get involved in so many things and then I would end up being stuck forever it seemed because no one else wanted to do it. I don't mind "helping out" or doing something on a limited time basis, but I'm not getting into long term commitment again. Some good friends organized an arts guild a few years ago, and this year saw it really come into it's full scope - getting their building (donated) completed, classes going etc. I am a big supporter of this organization and one of the members asked me the other day "why aren't you in the arts guild?". I thought about this question a day or so, and the answer that came to me is when I get in something I can never get out! That has made me shy away from committing to things.
    ut see, here is the thing about “being stuck forever”—you really aren’t!

    I am a firm believer in people stepping out of their volunteer job without a succession plan and person if that is necessary. Sometimes it means real trouble for the organization from which it may or may not recover. But if it doesnt recover, perhaps the organization doesnt need to exist or doesnt need that activity.

    In my neighborhood organization I see too many people who are doing a half assed job, they probably want out, but they dont step down. There is no room for someone to step into a role if it is still occupied.

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