Volunteering for Conflict?

What is the best way for a volunteer to address the gaps in service delivery and governance that she identifies at the organization?
William Klepper  | Spring 2018
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Having reached major career milestones, Elizabeth Smith moved to Smalltown, not far from the middle-class community she grew up in, determined to give back in a meaningful way. She wanted to satisfy a real need, while developing herself in new ways and participating more deeply in community life. Like many smaller towns, Smalltown (an incorporated village) relied primarily on volunteer fire and rescue services for on-site emergency care. Aware of this need, Smith chose to volunteer as emergency medical services (EMS) provider. While it was a very rewarding endeavor, navigating the culture of a volunteer organization in the town had proved more challenging than Smith expected. This was complicated by Smith’s role as a volunteer, rather than as a manager or traditional employee. 2017 was a turning point for Smith as she questioned certain governance, financial management, and service delivery practices. How could Smith most effectively address these issues?

Case ID: 180406

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