While many job seekers think of volunteering as doing menial work, today's nonprofits are finding ways to set up more involved activities. In "The Idiot's Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers," John L. Lipp wrote that this is happening because organizations recognize that volunteers are too often forced into roles that limit their creativity and prevent them from making a real impact.
Lipp suggested seven steps that nonprofits can follow to come up with innovative volunteer positions:
- Give staff about 15 minutes to write down all the tasks they perform in your organization.
- Ask them to review the list and circle all those duties that they have a hard time completing because they always seem to run out of time.
- Ask them to review the list and underline all those duties they feel uncomfortable doing because they never really had the proper training.
- Have them review the list one more time and ask them to put an asterisk next to those duties they just plain hate.
- Post the list on the wall, and then have them take out another sheet. On top of this sheet, have them write down any special projects they've wanted to do.
- On the bottom half of that sheet, have them write down ideas for new programs or services that they think your organization could offer the public.
- Post all the sheets on the wall, and lead your group in a discussion about which of those things listed could possibly be delegated and turned into a meaningful volunteer position.