Value adding volunteerism is when the service is anchored on mission, and the volunteer is immersed on purpose.
By blogging this, I am sharing my framework about volunteerism. having been involved in volunteer work in a local church and para churches, and a few civil society groups.
Value Adding Volunteerism
Volunteerism or volunteer work, according to ILO, refers to activities performed willingly and without pay to produce goods or provide services for others outside the volunteer’s household or family. Volunteer work plays an important role in countries, contributing to production and to economic output, particularly in the non-profit sector, and also to community development, social cohesion and civic participation.
There are two main elements of a volunteer work, that it is (1) a work performed without an expectation of payment and (2) done voluntary without civil, legal or administrative requirement. The 2nd is an important element to distinguish a volunteer work from compulsory unpaid work like court-mandated community service, mandatory national military draft or a service required as part of an education program or to acquire certification in a given profession.
Compensation for Volunteers
According to this study, there are two likely compensation for volunteerism, one is immediate and the other is eventual. Both can be time bound and temporary in nature.
- Consumption Volunteerism (immediate gain) – in this theory, a volunteer work is treated like a commercial “good”, when consumed it gives satisfaction to the volunteer. For example, a person fond of travels will volunteer to a task that provides travel to different places or culture.
- Investment volunteerism (long term gain) – here, a volunteer work is treated like an investment, where future gain can be expected. For example, a volunteer work, when done over a period of time, the volunteer gains a professional experience. This can be used as reference for application for promotions or future work. Another example, a volunteer work can give access to a vast professional network. This can be used by the volunteer to benefit her work or business, like marketing or bartering a product or service, in the future.
* volunteer work refers to the task or job
Purpose Driven Volunteerism
This volunteerism is anchored on shared advocacy. It may or may not be time bound because service is geared towards living the purpose and fulfilling the mission.
The compensation from this volunteer work is the sense of fulfillment, that feeling when you know you are within your calling.
With these in mind, should there be a distinction on volunteers who expect a form of reimbursement from volunteers who want access to learning and gain experience, and from those who just want to pay forward?