Volunteer managers and delegation: Part 3

A volunteer base is important to volunteer managers. Learn more about tips and tricks to effective delegation through this article series.

This is the third article in a series by Michigan State University Extension that focuses on volunteer managers and delegation. Read the previous articles in this series, Volunteer managers and delegation: Part 1 and Volunteer managers and delegation: Part 2 to see the prior topics covered.

Volunteer managers often have a lot to do and have very little time to accomplish the tasks at hand. That’s why a volunteer base is so important to volunteer managers. How is it that volunteer managers are able to get so much done with and through volunteers? It’s through delegation. Delegation may seem like a simple concept, but it can actually be much more difficult than one might think.

Delegation is a must-have for any volunteer manager, however not everything is appropriate to delegate to volunteers. Volunteer managers often discover this only after they have learned that a task should not have been passed to a volunteer and in hindsight it should have been a task that stayed with the volunteer manager. Being proactive rather than reactive with delegation is important, however it’s hard to know on the forefront what should and shouldn’t be delegated.

According to the Holden Leadership Center at the University of Oregon, the appropriate time to provide insight times to delegate is when:

  • There is a lot of work
  • A volunteer has particular qualifications for or interest in a task
  • Someone can benefit from the responsibility
  • Routine matters need attention
  • Details take up too much time and have to be divided

Likewise, it is suggested that the time not to delegate is when:

  • The task is something that you would not want to do (menial work)
  • Someone is underqualified or overqualified for the task
  • The work is your own specified responsibility
  • The area is big or is an unsolved problem, issue or matter dealing with the personal feelings of another, or deals with confidentiality

In the last article in this series about volunteer management and delegation, learn more about how volunteer managers can be effective delegate to volunteers.

Other articles in this series:

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