To learn more about the factors that contribute to volunteerism a series of 15 focus groups across the country were conducted. Within these focus groups individuals discussed motivations to volunteer, why they left, and why they do not volunteer. Individuals who participated represented diverse demographic and socio-economic backgrounds. (From http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov)
1. Personal invitations to serve are more appealing
When non-volunteers were asked why they were not involved the majority of responses were “I haven’t been asked.” A Specific face to face interaction proves to be more effective at getting people involved than a generic “blanket” ask to get involved.
2. Non-Volunteers Worry about Having Enough Time to Volunteer
Many non-volunteers within the focus groups feared the time commitment of volunteering. The non volunteer says, “It’s a life time commitment; I’ll never have any time to myself again.” In other words, allow your potential volunteers to GROW into their position rather than force them to GO into a position.
3. Poor Volunteer Management Will Turn People Off of Serving
As former volunteers discussed why they left volunteering, one theme was repeatedly voiced. If they had a bad experience with one organization, they were turned off from volunteering altogether...at any organization. If a volunteer has a poor volunteer experience in another part of the church (or in a completely different church) it will be tough to get them to serve in any capacity within your ministry.
Based on the information from the focus groups we can take these five actions to increase our volunteer leadership.
1. Matching skills and interests to a volunteer’s assignment
2. Training the volunteer on the task to be performed
3. Offering new skills training they could apply elsewhere
4. Promoting volunteering with friends or a social group
5. Helping volunteers understand the meaning of their work
Check out e'kwip! e'kwip will help you get more volunteers, keep more volunteers and empower more volunteers.