Today at Big Cat Rescue Aug 2 What Makes for a Good Volunteer Program?

What do YOU want in a volunteer program?

 

During my presentation at Taking Action for Animals on volunteerism, my co panelist, Hilary Hagar from HSUS asked the audience what their ideal volunteer opportunity would look like. These were some of the answers from the audience

 

1. Flexible schedules

2. An organized program3. Similar belief system4. Good communication

5. Hands on type work

 

Then she asked what makes it hard for you to volunteer and got these responses:

 

1. Lack of centralized information

2. Sad stories about the animals

3. Not being able to save every animal in need

4. Compassion fatigue

5. Infighting

6. Life, family, work balance

7. Choosing the right group who are doing the right things the right way

8. Lack of appreciation

9. Lack of funding to do the work needed

 

These aren’t in order by priority, but were just the order in which people raised their hands and were called on. At the bottom of the page we ask what you think.

Summer campers make enrichment for the tigers
Summer campers make enrichment for the tigers
Tigers appreciate enrichment made by campers
Tigers appreciate enrichment made by campers
Sabre the black leopard gets an elephant from Summer Campers
Sabre the black leopard gets an elephant from Summer Campers
Tigers tear up the cardboard prey animals made by Campers
Tigers tear up the cardboard prey animals made by Campers
Meat truck arrives just as enrichment is being handed out
Meat truck arrives just as enrichment is being handed out
Organized volunteers offload the meat trucks in record time
Organized volunteers offload the meat trucks in record time
Forty pound boxes of Natural Balance are frozen and heavy
Forty pound boxes of Natural Balance are frozen and heavy
We pay $3.10 per lb for the best diet possible:  Natural Balance
We pay $3.10 per lb for the best diet possible: Natural Balance
Master Keeper Barbara updates the bulletin board in food prep
Master Keeper Barbara updates the bulletin board in food prep
New retaining wall will make it easier to mow behind the tigers
New retaining wall will make it easier to mow behind the tigers
These Femme Fatales are strong, powerful, dedicated and hot
These Femme Fatales are strong, powerful, dedicated and hot
Summer Campers watch Operant Conditioning done by Marie
Summer Campers watch Operant Conditioning done by Marie
Raindance takes a nap after having her mats combed off
Raindance takes a nap after having her mats combed off
Blind bobcat, Tommie Girl, learns her new Cat-a-Tat
Blind bobcat, Tommie Girl, learns her new Cat-a-Tat
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple's new Mountain Lion OS
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple's new Mountain Lion OS
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple's new Mountain Lion OS
Tobi the Mountain Lion celebrates Apple’s new Mountain Lion OS
President Jamie Veronica organizes the darting equitpment
President Jamie Veronica organizes the darting equitpment
President Jamie Veronica organizes the darting equitpment
President Jamie Veronica organizes the darting equitpment

Tell us in the comments section below:

1. What do you want in a volunteer program?
2. What makes it hard to volunteer?

How much did you like this?

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  • Show Comments (4)

  • Luisa Kelly

    I would absolutely love to volunteer for some thing like this… wish there was something like this here in Austin, TX.

     
  • Colleen Tracey

    That's how an organization gets to be successful and stay on the guidelines… Works in concert makes the whole volunteering fun!

     
  • Brad Davies

    for me personally what makes a good volunteers some who has passion for what they are volunteering for, good communications skills; not just verbal communications but as being able to understand that very group of people you encounter communicates in a different manner based on anything from where they come from (town, city, state or even Country) all the way up to age group ( I highly suggest taking communication courses at the local college). And depending on they type of volunteer program (in this case Big Cat Rescue) the work horse type mentality is key to doing a good solid job.
    What makes it hard to volunteer is the current economic times; making money is not easy right now with the job market being is shallow so it forces people to work jobs that pay very little which makes it very hard to save up money to where you feel comfortable enough to go out and put time in a program where you don't make money. It's very unfortunate. The locations are also can play a key factor, I love in California and would love to volunteer or intern at Big Cat Rescue but it's all the way in Florida and I don't have the kind of money to fly out to Florida and don't have anyone in Florida to stay with. And there are very limited programs who offer the same or similar type of experience and education.

     
  • Dee Veccia

    As a volunteer, I want to be able to be involved in what interests me, and allows me to explore my passions. I would want to be treated like an employee, and be kept "in the loop" on the organization I am involved with (open communication). I would love it if the program allowed for advancement- to be able to do more or be more involved as my skills improved (more "hands on"). Flexible schedule, and training or classes would be a huge plus. The single thing that makes it hard to volunteer is getting my work schedule and volunteer schedule to coincide. I volunteer right now, and my biggest complaint is limitations on what we can do, and how slowly information passes to us (if at all).

     

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