Tampere
25 Apr, Thursday
4° C

Proakatemian esseepankki

“Volunteering”



Kirjoittanut: Esme Luhtala - tiimistä FLIP Solutions.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Like most of Proakatemia already know, this spring Flip had the honor to test out the miracles of English sides updated curriculum by having our first Learning Journey. According to our curriculum the goals of the Learning Journey are:

  • specify the target of the learning journey in order to lead the team towards its vision
  • design how to implement the plan in practice
  • operate efficiently and successfully during the learning journey
  • conduct the lessons learned after the learning journey, capture the knowledge learned and put it into practice. (TAMK, 2022)

 

As the first guinea pigs, we didn’t have the usual silent information passed on to us by older teampreneurs and like usual, the coach didn’t provide too much guidance either – we had to come up with everything by ourselves. This was quite a struggle and for a long time, we were lost that what should we actually do. After surviving the confusion, we ended up volunteering in Keuruu Eco-Village for a short work week.

 

One of the Eco-Villages terms was to have me lead the volunteering work and be a communicator between Eco-Village and our team. The Eco-Village is very familiar to me from my childhood, but I have never been leading this kind of voluntary event. And since I was the springs Business Leader, it was definitely not my intention to have that big of a role in our Learning Journey. But because it was part of their terms and this seemed to be the only good option for us at the moment, we and I took the challenge.

 

Before the Learning Journey, I and Gustav visited Eco-Village to go through the tasks and different work possibilities for our team. We made a rough list of different jobs to take care of and possible respondee persons from Eco-Village to guide the start. Visiting Eco-Village took us a full working day, but us being well updated benefitted the start of our Learning Journey. The rest of the team gained trust that if and when there were some things we didn’t know, it was most likely unimportant.

 

My family has been volunteering and leading volunteers in Eco-Village for decades, so of course, I tried out their counselor services on the matter. My leading goal for the Learning Journey was to adjust to the Eco-Villages relaxed environment where the bat is not held too tightly and work is done through positivity. One concrete action towards this was to not plan too carefully each day’s voluntary tasks or pre-hand choose who would be doing what. Each day’s tasks were chosen and divided among Flip at the common breakfast, where I first locked the day’s tasks with Eco-Village representatives and then shared them forward to Flip members. 

 

Even though Learning Journey wasn’t volunteering in a way that we were getting (mandatory) student credits from it, the common thought atmosphere was built around us volunteering for Eco-Village. This got me to think about how to lead and most of all motivate volunteers who are not getting that paycheck which seems to be the most important motivation source for many. According to Volunteer Hub, an organization helping others to manage volunteers, the first step in being a good leader for volunteers is to understand their motivations for giving. According to a study by Volunteer Toronto, shared by Volunteer Hub, many of the volunteers provide their time to reach personal goals and/or for altruism. Here are the most common reasons people volunteer:

  • 93% To make a contribution to the community
  • 77% To use their skills and experiences
  • 59% They have been personally affected by cause/mandate
  • 50% To explore their own strengths
  • 48% To network or meet new people
  • 47% Their friends/family volunteer
  • 23% To improve and increase job opportunities
  • 22% To fulfill religious obligations or beliefs (Volunteer Hub)

Volunteer Hub doesn’t provide good enough resource information that I would be able to track down the original study, so let’s keep a soft bullshitting filter on while observing these numbers. After reading Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman I can’t help but wonder would some of us volunteer for the joy of helping others? Or perhaps that includes the ‘contribution to the community’ and/or ‘personally affected by cause/mandate’?

In America, 25% of the adult population volunteer, and the national value of volunteer time has been $24.14 per hour, meaning that Americans contributed $193 billion through their volunteering. (Nonprofits Source 2018)

According to Statistics Finland, entrepreneurs and senior employees did more voluntary work than other socio-economic groups. About 40 percent of them had volunteered. The least number of volunteers were in the group employees. (Statistics Finland 2017)

Picture: Proportion of those who volunteered during 12 months by socio-economic status 2017, aged 15 and over,%. (Statistics Finland 2017)

A few years ago I was volunteering in the Union of Finnish Upper Secondary Schools for three years.  I enjoyed these years a lot, had different responsibility roles, and was active both on regional and national levels. One of my biggest motivation sources was definitely the volunteering community. We wanted to succeed together and we wanted other volunteers to succeed as well. Because I didn’t want to let anyone down but wanted to party for successes, even unpleasant tasks were taken care of. Making the world, or at least one part of it better was combining all of us together and providing our common why. As mentioned, having fun was also a huge part of motivation build-up. Mine and others’ activity was usually most active right around those days we were spending time together. And since we were all friends (or at least had the feeling of being part of the same gang) spending time together was fun.

 

Learning Journey as days spent there got a lot of praises in our post-Motorola. Something to develop for the next time would be to have more trust in volunteers and provide even more challenging and longer-lasting tasks. I had so great time in Eco-Village that I had no need for taking my own recharging time at any point. Unusually, I was also able to not stress about team members’ input but was able to trust the process. And everything that was needed to be taken care of – was taken care of.

 

Work is the best and worst of all things; the best of it is voluntary, the worst of it is servile.

Émile Chartier, Alain On Happiness 1973

 

 

SOURCES:

 

Chartier, E. 1973. Alain On Happiness. Chicago: Northwestern University Press.

Nonprofit Source. Volunteering Statistics. Read 4.5.2022.

https://nonprofitssource.com/online-giving-statistics/volunteering-statistics/

Statistics Finland. 2017. Miehet ja naiset tekivät yhtä paljon vapaaehtoistyötä. Read 4.5.2022.  https://www.stat.fi/til/vpa/2017/vpa_2017_2018-08-30_kat_002_fi.html

VolunteerHub. How to Lead Volunteers Towards Mission Attainment. Read 4.5.2022.

https://www.volunteerhub.com/blog/lead-volunteers-tips/

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