Ensure Your Social Enterprise is Worth Volunteering For


This is the first video post of a two-part series about Drucker On Volunteerism. Check out the second video post: ‘How to Have Bored Volunteers in Your Social Enterprise

Volunteerism is very noble and is one key aspect of social enterprises.

Social entrepreneurs should be very aware that volunteerism can be a great part of your enterprise and help inspire best business ideas. When you have a social mission, when you have a drive to change the world, getting a team of volunteers as part of staff can be a great asset.

Peter Drucker and Volunteerism

I recently read a book by Peter Drucker who talked about ideas of innovation and entrepreneurship. In particular he had a focus in one of his books regarding the social sectors, and how social organizations can have volunteers, and the dynamic of volunteerism in management and leadership.

Two interesting points that Drucker makes is, firstly, that volunteers are very significant. I’ve been a volunteer myself for a number of organisations in the Asia-pacific area, Australia, Philippines and even in Bangladesh. Drucker’s stance about the significance of volunteers is that volunteers are driven not by monetary reasons or fear or a sense of lack but they’re actually driven by a purpose – a stronger purpose that is greater than themselves. From this, Drucker points out that in managing a social enterprise which includes volunteers, you should be very clear to your volunteers about the social mission.

Volunteers Like Social Enterprises with Integrity

Your organisation should have integrity overall as volunteers are there because of that social mission since they believe in it; and when that social mission is gone or when volunteers feel that the people or the systems of the social enterprise are not congruent with the mission, then volunteerism really can’t work.

So the overall message by Drucker is that: If you want to have volunteers on your team, volunteers who are passionate and are driven and at times are very, very skilled, with their time and energy and even with their contacts and money sometimes, then you should ensure that your people, your systems, your structures within your organisation support the mission.

Because that’s why the volunteers are there.

So focus very much on your mission and ensure that your activities and your programs and your people all align with the values of your organisation. You will find that these parts of volunteerism will influence your best business ideas.