Something I've noticed in just about every organization that I've been a part of is the old adage:
In any organization 10% of the people do 90% of the work.
This seems particularly true in volunteer organizations, where people aren't being paid, and things are considerably less organized. To some degree, this is to be expected when you're relying on volunteers, you can't really force anyone to do anything, so you end up with a passionate handful handling the less fun work and more or less running the show.
I say "running the show" very loosly. These people aren't really "in charge" they just happen to be the people who show up reliably and participate consistently. They end up making more decisions simply because they bothered to show up and make their voices heard more often.
This tends to cause obvious problems...
In a volunteer organization where everyone pretty much has an equal say, some people end up having more say than others simply by being present more. But of course newcomers and very occasional volunteers tend to see a core group making all the decisions among themselves. This creates conflict.
I'm wondering what if anything can be said or done to avoid that conflict or that perception?
My thinking tends to be:
Well, speak up if you want to be heard. Show up to the meetings and participate. You can't really blame us for taking care of stuff without your input if you're not here, or giving input.
This tends to entrench negative feelings. And worse leaves us with a number of people wanting to play Capt Hindsight... Basically those that have nothing to contribute during the decision making process, but lots of criticism after a decision is made or an action taken.
I've encountered this problem in all kinds of volunteer work. From beach cleanups, to food pantries, to disaster relief, to political activism, even with church organizations.
What's a more effective way to ask people to get involved if they want to be involved?