10 Reasons The Best volunteers Don’t Volunteer

This post was written by my friend Andrew Cherrie and edited by me. Andrew leads home Church in St Albans and will be one of the guest lecturers on our 2016/17 Internship programme.

Ever wondered why now everyone is in a hurry to volunteer for your project or sign up to your team? The ones that do are wonderful people but sometimes just not the people you had in mind right…..? Here are 10 reasons the best volunteers don’t sign up and suggestions on how you might change change their minds.

1. They are too busy.

Simple but true. They are not sitting around wondering what to do with their time – they are passionate and motivated, busy changing the world. If you want these busy people to volunteer you may have to rethink what it means to volunteer on your team. Which do you value most – are you looking for ABILITY or AVAILABILITY?

2. They didn’t notice the need.

And because they are busy people they often don’t see the need. Not because they don’t care, just that they didn’t see. Great leaders help potential volunteers see and understand the cause and help them get involved. Leaders give people the Why…

3. They think volunteering is not flexible enough for them.

Flexibility is important for people with full lives. They need to know they are not going to let you down, they care enough not to commit at all if they felt that was going to be the case. As highlighted earlier, ability is often more valuable than availability – don’t make the mistake of treating everyone the same!

4. The volunteer team is poorly led.

The very best potential volunteers will only follow really good leaders. They’re looking for people of character and vision to get behind, not someone who will end up wasting their time and not some badly structured and unclear experience.

5. You didn’t ask them.

The best volunteers are often than not recruited. Ask them.

6. When you asked them you didn’t convince them.

You need to be convincing, passionate and most of all likeable if you are going to convince anyone to volunteer. Assuming that you’re going all out to recruit the best volunteers you can find, you’ll have to polish your pitch, know what you want and get your head in the game. If not, you’ll be left disappointed.

7. They are looking for a cause not a job.

Giving up valuable time is a big deal for everyone, more so if you’re already trying to negotiate a full week of work and family life. This is why they only thing that’s going to attract the best volunteers is a cause, not another task. Talk cause not task and they’ll get it. Here’s the why again.

8. They are already leading on another team.

Great potential volunteers are snapped up quickly by those who care and go after them. If you aren’t looking, and ready, you won’t recruit them.

9. Your organisation skills and procedures are average.

It will take the best to attract the best. How good do you organise the team and do you strive for excellence? It makes a difference, don’t underestimate the attraction of a spirit of excellence.

10. Their last volunteer experience was a shambles.

Unfortunately many people simply won’t volunteer their time because of a poor volunteering experience in the past. You can’t do anything about the past but applying some of the principles listed above, you may be in with a chance of changing their perspective of what it means to volunteer.

If you are the leader of a volunteer team right now it’s time to change up the volunteer experience for everyone on your team. Think through the points above and find 3 actions points that you can adopt in the next 6-8 weeks.

If you’d like more from Andrew check out http://www.leadershiplocker.com

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