Please Pay Attention to the People Behind the Curtain


Think about what it takes to change the world. Now think about all the people involved. I’m not talking about the global leaders here—after all, we’re all familiar with extraordinary figures like Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mother Teresa—but rather those who contribute behind the scenes, who change the world for the better outside the spotlight’s glare.

For every global leader, there are millions of individuals working, volunteering, and generally doing their part to foster healthy citizens and communities the world over. One such oft behind-the-scenes role that deserves a shout-out today? Volunteer resource managers.

If you’ve had a great volunteer experience somewhere—a role or project where you felt engaged in meaningful work, supported and valued for your contributions—chances are you have a great volunteer resource manager to thank. The folks who do this work are responsible for connecting willing helpers with diverse opportunities to make a difference, all while managing relationships, assessing organizational needs, serving as advocates and a bridge between volunteers and staff, and identifying potential changemakers and crafting opportunities to engage them. All this in addition to the nuts and bolts of volunteer management: from risk assessment to screening, communications to evaluation. In short, volunteer resource managers are a human gateway to service for millions of volunteers worldwide.

Volunteer resource managers recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of volunteers on a regular basis. So it seems only fair we do the same for them. One such opportunity comes today, November 5, with International Volunteer Managers Day, a global day when we recognize the millions of volunteer resource managers worldwide who find, match, and support volunteers in an equally wide range of volunteer opportunities.

So, if you regularly volunteer somewhere, please take some time today to thank volunteer resource managers there for all they’ve done. Want to learn more about volunteer management as a career? Visit our Volunteer Management Resource Center. 

Cross posted from the Idealist homepage blog.

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