Professional Volunteers vs Volunteer Consultants
If your image of a Professional Volunteer is a someone who approached you for personal reasons tied to your cause and that you treat as an “unpaid employee”, then I am going to ask you to set that image aside. This is about professional volunteers that you recruit. You identify that you a have a specific project and you need specific expertise in a specific time period. You treat these volunteers like an “unpaid consultant” that you pay in ways other than money.
Everything in this section applies to for-profit consultants who work pro bono. But they are not the focus. Instead the focus is on recruiting professionals who are employees within the head offices of large corporations (or recently retired) who do marketing as their day job and are willing to help you out for a short time.
I am going to call them Volunteer Consultants. The majority of the candidates will want to put this work on their resume so they need a job title that is self-explanatory in the for-profit industry. Volunteer Consultants are what they do. Professional Volunteers are who they are. Two sides of the same coin.
Here are the benefits of recruiting volunteer consultants:
- expertise that fills a gap – recruit marketers with the expertise you need.
- short term – you don’t need to nurture them over time like an employee. They do the project and then leave. You don’t need to find them something to do.
- unbiased third party – they can tell you the uncomfortable facts that your employees can’t – because you can’t fire them. They aren’t tied to the way things used to be like a founder. They don’t have pet projects that a board member might have. Since you will work with them directly, you can manage the dissemination of the results as you wish.
- outside perspective – They aren’t caught up in the day-to-day crises, so its easier for them to see the big picture. They can see you with fresh eyes.
Who are marketers? Marketers can be generalists or specialists.