This aspect of volunteer motivation can be found in scripture. Jesus was always calling people to follow, to come and see, to check it out.
Some people will never volunteer without a personal invitation. You can post stuff. Announce opportunities. And you can talk and talk about it in general. But, until you personally invite someone, they may never volunteer. Sometimes generally posting volunteer opportunities can even backfire – everyone assumes they will surely have enough people!
What is it about the invitation that causes us to jump in?
Well, I heard it said best one time – would you invite your friends to dinner using a bulletin announcement or news article ad? Of course not. Personal invitations give a person a sense that they are known and their gifts matter. It feels good to be thought of and know that someone could use your help. In my experience, not everyone may take your up on the offer, but no one minds being asked!
There are countless people with untapped gifts because no one asked or invited them to volunteer.
I think that some of it may be personality. You can almost guess who will jump to volunteer with a public announcement. And you can almost guess who won’t. The invitation to each person is powerful because it allows for these 6 things.
1) to hand pick some people
2) to give people an opportunity
3) to help people understand first hand that you have a need
4) it allows you to share the vision
5) it builds a bridge of personal contact (especially if at some point the person doesn’t want to volunteer anymore they already have the conversation going and may want to volunteer in another area.)
6) the “yes” rate goes up tremendously!
This obviously is not the quickest way, but it is the most effective and motivates volunteers beyond belief! To begin this kind of culture, help the people who are already volunteering with you and are enjoying it, to spread the word. Their personal invitations to close connections will also be extremely fruitful.