FEBRUARY is considered the “Love Month.” But it should not only be about Valentine’s Day and sweethearts, but also about fostering relationships with family and friends, as well as loving others.
“Labor of love” refers to work done, not for monetary gain or external rewards, but out of passion, dedication, or love for the activity itself. When someone describes their work as “labor of love,” it typically implies that the effort they put into it is driven by intrinsic motivation, personal fulfillment, or a deep emotional connection to the work. Associations are in this same vein, as I believe they are “labors of love.”
Since associations are driven by a shared mission and the collective efforts of their members, they often thrive when all stakeholders (board, secretariat, members, volunteers) contribute their genuine passion and commitment. Some aspects where the “labor of love” applies:
1. Shared mission and intrinsic motivation. An association involves individuals or groups contributing, not just for external rewards or recognition, but because they truly believe in the association’s purpose. Intrinsic motivation, stemming from a deep connection to the mission, becomes the driving force behind their commitment.
2. Volunteerism and dedication. Member-volunteers are not just fulfilling their obligations, but are also actively choosing to contribute because of their passion for the association’s cause. This dedication often results in a higher level of member engagement and a more profound impact on the community.
3. Building stronger communities. Members who approach their involvement as labor of love tend to foster a sense of camaraderie, mutual support, and shared enthusiasm. This not only enhances the association’s internal dynamics, but also creates a more vibrant and welcoming community for all members.
4. Passionate leadership. Whether serving on the board or leading a committee, these members are motivated by genuine passion for the association’s mission. Their leadership style inspires others, creating a positive ripple effect throughout the organization.
5. Going above and beyond. Whether organizing events, spearheading initiatives, or contributing innovative ideas, members driven by passion are more likely to invest extra time and effort to ensure the association’s success.
6. Sustaining long-term engagement. Associations that cultivate a labor-of-love culture tend to enjoy sustained member engagement. When members feel a deep connection to the association and its mission, they are more likely to stay involved over the long term, providing continuity and stability to the organization.
7. Recognizing and celebrating contributions. Recognition reinforces the value of member dedication and passion, motivating them and others to approach their roles with a similar commitment, creating a positive feedback loop that strengthens the association’s overall sense of purpose.
When individuals contribute, not out of obligation, but with an authentic passion for the association’s mission, the collective energy becomes a powerful force for positive change. Nurturing a culture where personal commitment is celebrated alongside professional duties enhances the association’s effectiveness as well as creates a fulfilling and meaningful experience for all its members. In the end, it is this labor of love that transforms associations from mere organizations to thriving communities driven by shared purpose and passion.
Octavio Peralta is founder and volunteer CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives, the “association of associations.” The views he expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of the BusinessMirror. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.