Enabling is much more than managing volunteers. Enabling is a leadership concept. Enablers, like leaders, carry out very specific functions. Indeed, many of the leadership functions (and attitude and skills) described in Chapter 5 lay the foundation for enabling. Furthermore, enabling is one of the major responsibilities of a leader.
By now I hope you’re pretty excited to know what these functions are. Be prepared: Enabling has many facets, 19 as of this writing. In the first edition of Strategic Fund Development, there were only 16. But my colleagues in the classrooms at Saint Mary’s University keep adding more. Thank you! See the complete list in Exhibit 8.2.
Exhibit 8.2 The 19 Principal Functions of Enabling
Each of these functions is related to the others. Without one, the others will not work.
1. Transmit the organization’s values.
2. Engage volunteers in the meaning of your organization.
3. Articulate expectations and clarify roles and relationships.
4. Respect and use the skills, expertise, experience, and insights of volunteers.
5. Engage volunteers in process as well as tasks.
6. Provide direction and resources. Explain why, not just how. Identify and remove barriers, and help develop skills.
7. Coach and mentor people to succeed.
8. Transmit the body of knowledge and best practice, helping others anticipate next practice. (And this includes helping people distinguish between unqualified personal opinion and the body of knowledge.)
9. Communicate. ...