Implications Of Students Volunteering For Nonprofit Organizations To Satisfy A Service Learning Requirement Of Their Educational Institution
Internship, sometimes referred to as attachment, is a program where students are engaged in organizations that deal in their areas of academic or professional specialization in order to gain skills and experience as an institutional requirement or just to enhance their career prospects. Non- profit making organizations are institutions that carry on business with intentions of serving the society but without the core intention of making profit as opposed to other conventional businesses. There are several implications of student volunteers for non-profit organizations as requirement in their learning institutions. These implications are cross cutting and affect both the students and the organizations that offer such voluntary work.
On the part of the student, a lot of on the job experience is gained from the work handled in the organization. For instance, an accountant volunteer will get to know the organizations accounting system, internal control system, accounting policies and procedures that are applicable in the non-profit organizations since these policies are different from those of their profit making counterparts. This experience later comes in handy when the student leaves school and is out to look for employment. This is because work experience is one of the key requirements in the recruitment process in many organizations whether profit making or otherwise.
Interaction with other during the volunteering period also builds a students character, personality and attitude towards life. Volunteering involving the offering of services without expecting consideration in return. Such exercises bring out the spirit of assistance, corporate and individual responsibility amongst the volunteers.
On the contrary, the students working capability may be stifled by the lack of payment. Monetary consideration has been proven to be arguably the most effective employee motivation strategy but of course up to a given limit. Lack of payment may therefore be a big hindrance to the students’ full potential making them work for the sake of the satisfaction of their institutions’ course requirements and not necessarily for the achievement of the organizations goals and objectives.
Like wise, the experience gained from the voluntary work in a non-profit organization may not be very relevant to most students and especially those that finally get employed in the profit making sectors of the economy. The operations of the on profit making institutions are structurally different from those of the other organizations. This means that a student that has been trained in a non-profit making institution may have to undergo further training to be able to work effectively in the private sector.
The non profit making institution on the other hand would greatly benefit from such an initiative. Volunteers come at a very minimal variable cost and this translates to increased productivity for the organization per unit cost. Although non profit making institutions do not use profit as a benchmark, there are definite criteria that are employed in assessing their efficiency and effectiveness in the utilization of the available factors of production and thus the presence of an unpaid factor means that the organization productivity per unit cost increases.
The presence of volunteers in these organizations also gives them the opportunity to train potential future employees. The organization can train student volunteers to become future managers and leaders in the organization when the need arises. This means that the organization will spend lesser resources on the training of these volunteers since they shall already be used to the organizations policies and procedures.
On the contrary, volunteers are known not to work to their maximum potential especially because they are not paid for their services and worse still if they are only doing it to satisfy an institutional requirement. Reduced output per worker means that the overall organizations output dwindles and this is detrimental to the achievement of goals and objectives of any given organization whether profit making or not.
Lastly, training of these student volunteers is a costly affair. Volunteers in non profit making institutions like government hospitals could actually cost the organization a big deal. This is because the equipment used is quite expensive and the drugs used are not cheap either. Since these volunteers are still learners, a lot of recourses could be wasted through wrong diagnosis or administrations of the medication, a cost borne by the institution.
Grobman, Gary M. (2007). An Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector, 2nd Edition, White. Hat Communications, Harrisburg.
Wilson, M. (1976). The effective management of volunteer programs. Boulder, CO:
Volunteer Management Associates