Last week, we wrote about how to empower your stakeholders to bolster community spirit, which focused on you, and what you can do when it comes to building a stronger spirit within your organization. This week, it's time to look outward, and build off of one of those points (recruiting early adopters). Being National Volunteer Week, let’s hone in on - you guessed it - volunteers.
Here are 5 things to look for in outstanding community volunteers:
These people could audition for the role of Energizer Bunny because they seem to have no off switch. They are a walking Red Bull. They give your organization wings. It’s great to have hands to do the work, but if you have a bunch of really eager, fast-moving hands, you can get a lot more done, a lot more positively.
The best volunteers get that they are coming in to support an organization with a lean budget. They get that they won’t get paid, and they get that they are buying into your established goals and mindset. The all-stars are the ones who jump right in and work with you to get the work done and identify partnerships and opportunities with high value for the organization.
You don’t just want your volunteers to fit in with your internal ecosystem, you want them to spread the word beyond your organization. Your strongest advocates are the ones pounding the pavement for your cause and telling others about it, or even recruiting more helping hands. Choose volunteers who show they have a strong tendency for advocacy, and sharing the positive sentiment about the causes they support.
This point is more about a volunteer fit than their work ethic. While what they do is important, their mindset of contribution is just as, if not more important. Many individuals want to volunteer because they need a line on their resume or experience for their chosen career path, and it’s not to say that these people don’t have the right intentions, but the most valuable volunteer is less concerned about what you can do for them and more concerned about how they can contribute and bring value to your cause.
Though your organization likely has a lot of patience, you may not have time or resources to deal with last minute staffing or volunteering issues. Your all-star volunteer is going to be that steadfast individual who always shows up when they said they would, or gives you ample notice when a conflict arises.
The community of Red Deer is full of great volunteers and a passion for involvement, so don’t feel like you’re in this alone. Get involved, or if you’re not sure where to start, sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on opportunities.