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I've been asked to introduce and moderate a session on Volunteer Management at the Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2012. Below are some notes and points for discussion.

Where do volunteers come from?[edit]

  • the editing communities
    • how?
  • partners
    • how?
  • general public
    • how?

How to engage volunteers effectively?[edit]

  • match tasks to skills and preference
  • train to create/improve needed skills, e.g. train volunteers in public speaking, by professionals
  • build a portfolio: do (or at least plan) several different things, to create multiple ways of engagement for potential volunteers
  • have frequent low-barrier low-key activities to integrate newcomers, e.g.:
    • regular editing workshops
    • photo hunts
    • Wikisource proofreading
    • tutored maintenance tasks (e.g. dead links, copy editing)
  • appreciate your volunteers!
    • and feed them :)

Threats to effective volunteer management[edit]

  • burnout
  • strong disagreements
  • personal conflicts
  • power dynamics
  • bad precedents
  • vicious cycles