How to have a 'win -win relationship'

Highlighting the unique contribution of volunteers and the value your organisation places on volunteers and their involvement will set the tone of the relationship between the volunteer and the organisation.

Valuing Volunteers

Traditionally the view is that volunteers make a gift of their time, without any desire or expectation of getting anything back. In essence it was considered a 'one-way' relationship.

The 'one-way' relationship is no longer seen as either realistic or useful by many of those with a direct involvement in volunteering. Instead, volunteering is understood, as a relationship that, like most relationships requires both parties to put something into the process in order to receive mutual benefits. On this basis, the organisation has a clear responsibility to plan and manage the way in which it involves volunteers in its work in order to maximise the potential benefits to all concerned-the organisation itself, its beneficiaries and the volunteers.

Two-Way Relationship

With this in mind, volunteering is considered to be a 'two-way' relationship. This approach has a fundamental effect on how the organisation approaches the involvement of the volunteer. By acknowledging this 'two-way' relationship with volunteers, the volunteer's reasons for volunteering become a matter of best balance between the needs of the organisation and the motivations of the volunteers; the best balance being that which maximises the benefits of volunteering for both parties.