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The Dangers of Too Much Enthusiasm

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Many volunteer program managers bemoan the fact that they receive little support from top management.  In this issue’s Points of View we consider the consequences of having entirely too enthusiastic backing from executive decision-makers – whether politicians or agency administrators – especially in the early stages of developing a volunteer effort.


There are two levels of possible over-enthusiasm.  The first is the growing tendency of national governments to voice advocacy for volunteerism, whether through proclamations of country-wide recruitment campaigns, actual legislation channeling funding for various projects, or just loud speechifying on how important volunteering is to the social good and civil society.   The second is at the individual organization level, in which the attitudes and actions of top managers lead to increased volunteer involvement (maybe).