General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

People in a volunteer organisation not pulling their weight

(1/3) > >>


I am the treasurer of a reading group. To cut a long story short, myself and the president are the only people to do any work. The person who is supposed to cooridinate the actual readings has not done so, and I have had to do this every time(and have volunteered to do it again)

The other week, someone sent me a Facebook message saying 'where are the readings?' That person then did not turn up to the next meeting. A group of them also like to meet up and have drinks, without me. I know that this is very unreasonable of me, but this hurts quite a bit. It is as if I am good enough to do the work but not good enough to be included in events. Anyway, I started this thread not to vent but to ask for constructive ways of asking people to contribute more. I feel annoyed and put upon, but I don't want to waste energy in annoyance.

Try to coordinate this with the president, it might be better if he/she would talk about this. Try to make a list of required activities that are part of running this group. Fill in who has been doing these activities lately.
The next step would be to email, or announce during a meeting that person x has done a,b and c, and person y has been doing d, e and f. However, person x and y cannot comtinue to do all these things, so who would like to take over tasks a,c and f? When people volunteer, give them a clear description of the tasks and goals involved, and see if they agree to these things. Try to prevent people from 'wanting to be role x' but not actually wanting/be able to perform the duties of role x. Laying out a clear description of the role also prevents people from underestimating the task, for a part.

As for not being imvolved in private meetings, there is little that you can do about that, I'm afraid.

If it were me, I'd be searching for other groups. Maybe this isn't the right fit for you and the people in the group. I understand your frustration by doing all the work. When I get to that point, because I volunteer for a lot, I ask myself what value that work is bringing to me. If I feel like I'm being taken advantage of, then I pull back and look for other options.

What is a reading group? Is it like a book club? I think you should stop taking on extra tasks. Let it become a problem when the person selecting the books doesn't follow thru. You can maybe have a back up plan in place if you want, but give that person the opportunity to be embarrassed in front of the rest of the group.

Questions? Refer them to the person in charge of that task. "I don't know what the readings are. Doris is in charge of that. Best to ask her directly."

If you try this tactic, then be matter-of-fact and good-natured about it. Don't show any resentment or you risk appearing petty.

Is the group meeting privately excluding others or only you?

this sounds very frustrating

I agree that you should sit with the president and make up lists of tasks and then re-assign them. Make sure that it's clear who is doing what. Have a 'constitution' that says "In order for this group to be able to continue, we remind you that all members have agreed to volunteer up to X hours per week" or whatever you need.  Or maybe have president bring it up at meeting "the coordinating task needs two people who will vounteer together for X number of hours per week. we have an option to hire a part time coordinator - the cost will be X$ per year, divided by Y members, which means we will be raising membership costs by 145$ per year"

I also agree you should stop jumping in to cover other people's hind quarters.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version