Lake Cowichan and its surrounding communities quite active when it comes to volunteering for local, provincial, and national causes, but it might not come as a surprise that some in these communities are expressing a certain amount of volunteer fatigue.
After all, people are busier these days, and volunteer energies can only be stretched so thin before they are exhausted.
Over the past couple of weeks alone there have been several events that have taken a considerable amount of volunteer time and often it is the same individuals who show up time and time again to take on the roles and responsibilities required to keep these events going.
In an editorial written by Donna Lockhart, a trainer and consultant with the RETHINK group, she talks about the impact of expecting too much from volunteers on the future of not-for-profit ventures and events.
“We have to learn how to sell volunteering if we are going to be successful at gaining the human resources necessary to fulfill the programs, services, and the mandates of the thousands of voluntary organizations across our country. We need to protect those volunteers we currently have by marketing and recruiting outside our comfort zone. Every organization that engages volunteers has a responsibility to protect their volunteers from burnout and fatigue,” said Lockhart.
She recommends reaching out to the youth and to those who do not have a history of volunteering as the baby boomer generation, who have typically been the largest demographic to volunteer, are getting older, and yet still contribute a greater number of hours than average.
Maybe it’s time to re-think and coordinate between groups about causes supported within the Cowichan Lake area and to re-think who is being targeted for volunteer hours.