It’s a new calendar year for most of us.
A new start.
A busy time.
The holidays already seem like a distant memory and the demands of the job are piling up once more.
So, for this first blog article of 2020, I’m going easy on you.
It’s not a long read.
It is a quote that I hope will encourage you to think about the volunteering vocabulary you use in 2020.
It suggests a simple but profound change we can all make that will better reflect the importance and value of what volunteers do.
Here we go:
”As the definition and use of the word volunteer changes, other vocabulary issues have surfaced. In this book, you’ll occasionally see ‘volunteer programme’ language to describe the organised integration of volunteers into an organisation’s service delivery, not least because it is language many who manage volunteers still use, but more often we have tried to avoid it. Why? We believe it is a valid observation that volunteers are not a programme. The word programme usually describes a subgroup of specific services within an organisation’s entire range of activities: the reading programme, the gardening programme, and so on. We do not speak of the ‘employee programme’, do we? That’s because employees provide programme services. So do volunteers.”
Think of it as a challenge to set a professional new year resolution – one you’ll keep beyond the end of the month!
Stop saying “volunteer programme”.