If you're wondering if your Awareness Walk, fundraising event, supportive and informative posts on this Forum, article written or photo taken for the newsletter, or just talking to the scared and recently diagnosed pregnant mom makes a difference, read on... This "new language" is how we feel about all of our "talent" at the Preeclampsia Foundation:
"Men don't volunteer as much as women do," or so says conventional wisdom. But Susan Ellis counters: "Men volunteer a lot; they're just not called volunteers. They're called coaches and firemen!"
With new waves of stimulus package volunteers and retirement-age volunteers coming down the road, it's even more urgent that we change the way we talk -- and think -- about volunteers.
Old language (often said in apologetic tone): "We have only a few staff, so we have to rely on volunteers." New language: "Because we have so many volunteers, we don't need more than a few staff."
Old: "Our volunteers help us [staff] so much!" gushes a nonprofit staffperson. New: "Volunteers help the patients so much!"
Old: "We have a couple of volunteers who help with the newsletter," said the director of a nonprofit legal services organization, adding, "Oh yeah! And some pro bono attorneys." New: "Our organization is lucky to have pro bono attorneys, pro bono writers, and pro bono graphics and layout staff."
Old: "We have 25 staff and 175 volunteers," said a museum director starting a speech. New: "We have 200 staff, of whom 175 are volunteers and 25 are paid."
To quote Susan Ellis again: "Paul Revere made his living as a silversmith. But he's remembered for what he did as a volunteer."
(From an anonymous author in a recent Blue Avocado newsletter)
Just wanted to take a moment to remember and thank you for your volunteerism!