Happy Halloween Farmstand friends!
In honor of this spooky celebration, we thought we’d take a moment to highlight an eerie reality for many farmers’ markets: More than half of all market administrators are volunteers! At first glance, this is a wonderful thing – it means that markets everywhere are being run by individuals who are so passionate about what they do that financial compensation isn’t an issue.
But if we dig a bit deeper, we have to acknowledge that volunteer resources for such a critical position often aren’t sustainable. (This is why executive directors for nonprofit organizations are typically salaried.) So while the goal of most farmers’ markets is not to turn big bucks, they should be organized to net enough – either through vendor payments, grants or sponsorships – to financially reward their administrator appropriately. Consider the following, taken from Farmers’ Market Coalition…
“While most markets are limited by shoestring budgets, keep in mind that paid managers can greatly increase the likelihood of a market’s long-term success.”
So, think you have a great volunteer administrator now? Just imagine what they could do if they were actually being compensated for their blood, sweat and tears!