Reblog: 8 Ways to Get Volunteers

A colleague from Trail Life posted a link to this article on Facebook.  I think it offers some very solid advice for folks who are either trying to launch a new Troop or rehab an existing one.

I’ll provide a very brief overview, but recommend checking out the source article.

  1. People need to be loved. Love them.
    1. A simple point – we’re focused on genuine love and support for the person.
  2. People need to be needed. Ask them to be involved.
    1. Most people will hang back until asked to get involved.
    2. Explain the job clearly — show the value of what they’ll be doing and help them connect the importance.
  3. People need to belong. Provide community for them.
    1. Build bridges between each team volunteer — they will support each other.
    2. Connect their contribution to the accomplishment of goals — celebrate victories together.
  4. People need understood. Spend time with them.
    1. Get to know them, understand their concerns in volunteering.
    2. Get them training if they need it.
    3. Get them a break when they need it.
  5. People need encouraged. Be their biggest cheerleader.
    1. Encouragement is like wind in the sails of a sailboat — it keeps people moving.
    2. Make time to shout out appreciation to your team, not for vanity or pride, but to help others see the value of their sacrificed time and resource.
  6. People need to feel appreciated. Go out of your way.
    1. Try creative means to “pat on the back”
    2. Get candid feedback on what they would respond to — don’t spin your wheels if they don’t feel motivated by free coffee and donuts.
  7. People need to feel as though they are part of something significant. Own the vision and communicate it.
    1. Don’t let volunteers think they’re merely a generic peg in a generic hole — they’re special, unique and vital to the success of the program just as they are now (we don’t need superman, we need you and you’re better than superman, anyway!)
    2. Avoid a revolving door of volunteers coming and going — tends to send the signal that the ministry isn’t critical.
  8. People need to be prayed for. Lead with prayer first.
    1. Don’t put it off or wait for the ideal time.  Pray about the situation (can’t make it to the meeting because someone’s home sick, etc.)

Again, it’s an interesting article and it offers many practical tips to help leaders pull their team together.


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