More effective leadership for all-volunteer groups

If your Democratic club is coming up on an election of officers, here are a few things to think about. Like a lot of all-volunteer organizations, Democratic clubs can be sadly dysfunctional. Leadership is too easily captured by the loudest or pushiest person around. Self-important individuals suck all the energy out of the organization, demanding attention for themselves rather than the bigger mission of winning elections and building a stronger party and a stronger nation.

If you have not seen these forces at work in the organizations you participate in, you have been fortunate — and ought to be vigilant to keep them from creeping in.

Even if you haven’t seen negative patterns in play, motivating volunteers¬†to do actual productive work can be challenging. It’s not like, an employer-employee relationship where the person who fails to do the work risks losing a source of income. A volunteer’s pay is $0 either way.¬†Instead, you must dispense other sorts of rewards such as recognition and engage people with camaraderie.

I went looking for a few resources on better management of all-volunteer organizations, and here is what I came up with. None of these are specifically directed at political groups, but the principles could apply to any volunteer organization.

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Author: David F. Carr

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