Volunteers are nothing more than warm bodies. They typically show up, do what they're told, and then leave. Did they file the papers? Probably. Did they put food on a plate? Yep. Did they fold the clothes and sort them? Absolutely. Volunteers are the work force to do the job faster than you could do alone or to do the job you yourself don't want to do.
But we have absolutely glorified the volunteer. "Dear volunteer: thank you for stopping your self consumed life long enough to give an hour or so once a year. Without you, we would be lost and ineffective."
Are you picking up my sarcasm?
The world needs less volunteers and far more callings. Callings are what makes a significant difference in the lives of others. Callings move us from showing up for self gratification to fighting for space to make a difference in others. Callings creates sustainability and endurance. A calling moves us from outsider to insider. A calling forces us to do things better instead of volunteering in order to makes things bigger. Ultimately, those who are called end up telling volunteers which grill to man or where to put a nail.
So why build a team of volunteers when you really want to build a team of people who feel called? Being called is the "X" factor in volunteering that is often unmeasuarable. But four "called" volunteers will have a far greater impact than 12 people looking to "give back."
Have you experienced the difference between called volunteers versus someone wanting to feel like they've given back?