Would you like a few more volunteers?
According to research from 15 focus groups across the country there is good evidence that you can get more volunteers IF you begin to practice one or all five of the following things.
1. Match The Skill of the Volunteer To Their Potential Role
Don’t just put a warm body in a volunteer position and hope it works out, it won’t, it never does. Match the skill, passion and interest of the potential volunteer to the role and responsibility you are asking them to consider.
2. Equip The Volunteer For Their Potential Role
When I volunteer for the first time at something new I usually feel overwhelmed, uncertain and nervous. One of the ways to ease each of these feelings is to equip the new volunteer so they feel both competent and confident.
I remember when our boys started swimming competitively. Our first experience as “swim parents” or “swim volunteers” was, let me see, how to word it, oh yes, painful! No training, no equipping, no informing. I joked with the director telling her I was going to start a website called cluelessswimparent.com to help other parents feel moderately equipped for their new volunteer role. She didn’t think it was necessary...or funny.
3. Equip The Volunteer With Skills They Can Apply Elsewhere
If you can provide volunteers with leadership they can apply in the marketplace, at home or in their personal life you are giving them a win, win win situation.
What you are teaching them benefits who they are as a leader not just what they do as a volunteer. Helping each person to be successful in their new volunteer role and their role in life as a leader, dad, mom, or boss will add incredible value to them.
4. Stop Asking For More Volunteers
I know this sounds a bit counterintuitive and I am not saying to stop talking about the need you have for others to serve in a volunteer capacity. What I am saying is stop beating the drum so loud and so often that you are on par with that little boy who cried wolf. Pretty soon, people stop listening. Word of mouth seems to be the best way to get others excited about what you are doing. Treat your volunteer leaders with respect and value and in turn your current volunteers will spread the word for you. How you treat and lead your current volunteer leaders will directly effect how many more people you will get to serve in the future.
5. Tell Your Volunteers What They Do Matters
Everybody likes a reminder. Sure, a grande non-fat caramel macchiato goes a long way but what goes further is how that volunteer is making an impact in your church or organization. Remind them how this world is better because of their commitment, because of their passion, because of what they are doing! Let them know in a very real and authentic way they are making a difference.
There you have it. Five ways to get more volunteers. Remember, these aren’t a one time “I will do it” and get more volunteers list. These are a way of leading, a way of life. Put them into practice and over time you will see your volunteers multiply!
From these five ways to get more volunteers, which one is the most difficult for you? Which one is the easiest or second nature for you? Is there one that’s not in the “5” that you do to get and keep more leaders? I would love to hear it!