VOLUNTEERS 101 – Two types of people are required (and 8 secrets to successfully recruiting more volunteers).

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 2/17/21).

Did you ever host a task force and see less people show up, the longer you met? There can be numerous reasons for this, but the most common is because there are …

2 types of people.

1. Those who want to give input. Advisors, idea generators, visionaries, they have insight. They can’t get involved right now, but they care about your topic. Remember, though they can’t get involved right now they gave experience, passion, purpose and knowledge; just not the ability to get involved at present. Don’t take their refusal (or disappearance from your meetings) to indicate lack of interest. They have shown their interest and concern by initially attending your meetings. Because they care they have advice they want to give.

⁃ Ask them for their advice.

⁃ Ask them for people who might want to do something now.

⁃ This gives them the option of volunteering themselves or pointing you towards someone who would like to be involved.

2. Those who want to do something. (doers, actors) they have energy to give.

⁃ Include them in your meetings.

⁃ Listen to them.

⁃ Sketch a solution w/ a little bit of everyone’s insights.

⁃ Ask each what they want to do.

⁃ Remind them this is a work in progress and changes will occur.

8 Secrets to Recruiting More Volunteers

⁃ Appreciation (e.g. note, sm. gift, refreshments, especially for newbies).

⁃ Leave seats empty (metaphorically and practically). Leave (metaphorically) an empty seat in your meeting to remind everyone new people are welcome. And practically don’t fill all the volunteer positions so latecomers will have something to do.

⁃ Share your enthusiasm before the ask.

⁃ No is not never.

⁃ Expect comings & goings (rotating out & in is okay).

⁃ Provide opportunities for different levels of engagement.

⁃ Make volunteering part of your assimilation (i.e. route to membership).

⁃ Use micro-volunteering.