Hello SOTGC community,
According to best selling author John Maxwell who wrote The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, it’s the person that has successfully served as a volunteer leader for at least 6 months.
Whether it’s leading a board, a fundraising campaign, or an event – you need to have the ability to influence people and get them to follow you.
It makes sense. Positional leadership doesn’t work in voluntary organizations. Why? There’s no leverage.
In business, bosses have tremendous leverage – most employees are cooperative when their livelihood is at stake. In the military, leaders can use rank.
In the nonprofit world – it’s all about the mission. Donors don’t have to give money and volunteers don’t have to volunteer. The driver of success is your ability to influence (lead) the community to participate.
My guess is that at least once, like me, you have had an excruciating experience working as a volunteer. Oftentimes in well-intentioned nonprofits, the lack of resources means that there isn’t much time or energy left for training and mentoring leaders. The resulting frustration drives many of us away.
But not always. Amazing volunteer and staff leaders are among us.
Board Presidents and Executive Directors are thinking strategically about the future and stepping out in ways that aren’t in the news.
Ambitious students are noodling innovative ideas that will change the way we look at social challenges.
And you can be sure there are social justice committees of 70 somethings at your neighborhood church or synagogue kicking butt raising money to fund scholarships for low-income youth.
Just imagine. If you made the decision to work your way up the volunteer ladder of your favorite nonprofit with the intention of developing your leadership skills, the impact could be life changing for you and those your organization serves. There’s actually research that backs this up.
It turns out that, in a recent survey, when people were asked what activity gives them the most pleasure in life, donating to others in need came in third behind first place “being in love” and second place “hugging my children. The survey conducted by Harris Interactive also found that a majority (60%) of those who have ever donated to those in need feel hope in that they are making a difference.
Remember, it takes a leader to recruit and develop leaders. Someone has to be first.
Go at it SOTGC community. Your community needs you.