The New Volunteerism Project

The Archival Collection of
Ivan Henry Scheier

The Part-Time Profession:
Percent and Nature of Time Investment in the Volunteer Leadership Career

by Ivan Scheier

8-Page Pamphlet, 1987, now out of general print; individual copies by arrangement with the Center for Creative Community, P. O. Box 2427, Santa Fe, NM, 87504.

(Summary of study based on 168 people who answered "yes" to the question: "Do you have hands-on responsibility for a volunteer program (as Coordinator, Administrator, Director, etc. of Volunteers)?"

"First of all what we seem to have here is people who, according to the numerous other studies, tend to be poorly paid. Moreover, the present study further shows that about three-quarters of them are only part-time on the volunteer program, with almost as much time going to other functions. These people must therefore spread little money and less time over several subject areas. Thus, if they can afford at all to join a professional association, there is good reason for them to join several. Clearly, the association which has the best chance of attracting them to membership will be relatively inexpensive and accessible in its services. Possibly, too, it will tend to concentrate on competencies rather than target audiences, e.g., on the wide range of people. Staff as well as volunteers, to which competencies such as training and communication, can be applied.

Secondly, I think it is high time we began to concentrate on the significance of split-role responsibilities. Must we accept the "other responsibilities" simple as subtractions from the main role of volunteer program leadership? Or can they be construed as supportive? In other words, when a volunteer coordinator also does other things, what can we do to reconcile those other things with the volunteer program role, and more than reconcile – actually reinforce that role. Here is an early treatment of the issues in the September 1987 issue of the DOVIA EXCHANGE (Volume III, No 3, from the Center for Creative Community).

"In previous discussion of the split-role phenomenon, we’ve expressed the hope that these ‘other roles’ might not always dilute or distract from the volunteer coordinator function. Indeed, we maintained they could actually reinforce each other, as when the volunteer coordinator also carries a caseload and uses that caseload to model an ideal volunteer program. So much the better, if she/he builds this purpose into supervision of other staff."


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Ivan Scheier
607 Marr
Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, 87901
Tel (505) 894-1340