How to Inspire Others to Volunteer
Do you love to volunteer? Do you work for a nonprofit and you’d like to inspire others to give back to the community?
Because we live in a fast-paced world where many people do not feel they have any time to give to others, it’s important to give potential volunteers options so they feel like they can participate. Little by little, you’ll cultivate more faithful, committed volunteers — and inspire them to mentor still others.
Think about the following quick tips for recruiting volunteers and inspiring a spirit of serving society.
Tip #1: Tell stories
People tend not to volunteer unless they know what kind of potential impact they can make. So tell them stories about your organization. The New York Foundling is a great example of storytelling at work.
By knowing specifically how this organization empowers children and families and gives them the resources they need to live more stable, successful lives, it becomes easier for a possible volunteer to enter that story and become part of it.
Tip #2: Get to know your volunteer
The key to matching a potential volunteer with a suitable activity is to get to know the person. What makes him or her excited about life? How does the individual spend free time?
What’s an enduring passion that keeps this person going through life? For example, you might learn that your volunteer loves to read. Then she might be interested in volunteering as a literacy tutor.
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Does your volunteer enjoy playing the piano? Then he may enjoy teaching lessons at a summer camp or after-school program. Match your potential volunteers with activities that will not be a stretch for them, and that they will find enjoyable. They’re more likely to stick with it.
Tip #3: Ask for a small commitment
When you’re inspiring people to volunteer, start small. Work with the potential volunteer’s schedule and let him or her know that you can use whatever the individual can give.
You don’t want to overwhelm the person at first. At the same time, remind your volunteer that he is part of a national movement. His service is something much bigger than just the few hours he gives.
His or her service is part of a national initiative, and together we are all working toward a goal that empowers and improves life across the United States.
Tip #4: Check in periodically
Make sure you are checking in with your volunteer throughout the time of service, so you can be sure he or she is enjoying the work. You can also evaluate areas for potential growth.
As your volunteer accumulates positive experiences, he or she might be willing to take on more hours or projects. You may find the person wants to give more because he or she sees how lives are being changed … and how the volunteer’s own life is changing as well.
Volunteers often find they are changed in many positive ways because they took the time to help fellow human beings. They will become inspired by those they meet, every step of the way!