Juha-Matti Santala
Community Builder. Dreamer. Adventurer.

Tomorrow is Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day

A lot of community stuff is organized by volunteers. Our meetups, Turku ❤️ Frontend and archipylago as well as online developer communities like Koodiklinikka are all run by volunteers: the community makes the community happen. I think that’s a wonderful thing. Everyone contributes to the common good as much as they can and want.

Same happens with many of my open source software projects. I’m in the nice situation that I don’t have popular projects that would be a critical part of infrastructure but I still want to keep the few users happy and be transparent on my commitment.

This spring, I learned about Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day that happens twice a year during the solstices.

Volunteer Responsibility Amnesty Day is about checking with yourself, and ending the commitments you need to end – maybe by taking a break, or by rotating it on to someone else, or by sunsetting a project.

I like how Mary Gardiner puts it:

if it needs to be done someone else can do it

If it’s truly valuable and something that the community values, someone will pick it up and keep running it – or transform it into something new that fits them the best.

I added these events to my calendar for the following years to help me take a break, take some inventory of my projects and reflect on what should be continued (and how much I’m willing to put in) and which ones should go on a break or stop completely.

If you’re involved in some volunteer actions, take some time to do the same!