New Volunteers Are Fragile

New volunteers need to be nurtured. They need to see clearly what you’re asking them to do, how the work matters, what their time commitments are and how they’re gifts and efforts will affect the overall mission and outcome.

Someone who has just joined your team needs well-communicated direction about when, where and how! And they need a leader who can follow through with the details.

The worst is a new volunteer who shows up with little or nothing to do, never gets contacted, or shows up to a disorganized situation.

Here are some keys to helping the new volunteer on your team.

Share The Vision

The best motivation for a volunteer is to see the vision and to get a hold of the potential outcome of their work and ministry! When they see what you’re working towards, it will help them figure out how they can best fit in.

Be Optimistic and Thankful

Volunteers and team members want to be a part of something good.. not a sinking ship. Why are you asking them to join you? Don’t talk bad about the organization or your team or others around you. Be thankful for them, be optimistic about the mission and the organization. You may be having some struggles and things may not be perfect but highlight the bright spots.

Share Specific Information

At the beginning, the more info and details the better – share time, place, what to wear, what they will be doing, and their role for the time slot. Share who they will meet, what they will experience and stories of success.

Remind Them Of The Outcome

Remind the new volunteers of the vision and the role they are playing. Share the good reports you get from people. Keep the outcome and successes out in front!

Follow Up & Ask Questions

Follow up to see how the new volunteer is liking their work. Ask them 10 to 20 questions about their favorite part, how they felt, if they needed more information or resources, what they enjoyed most and anything else you can think of.

Stay in touch

After a while, a volunteer on your team can become self-sufficient, seeking you in when needed, connected to the group or ministry as a whole. But in the beginning, check in with your new team member. Keep them in the loop, provide them with information, stay in touch with ongoings about the ministry. Check in a few weeks in to see if this is still their “thing.” Don’t take it personally if your new volunteer discovers that this wasn’t what they were thinking or it won’t work. There may be a more suited place for them, but getting that out in the open will offer a better chance for another volunteer role as opposed to quietly slipping away. Stay in touch and help your new volunteer thrive. Don’t take any of your volunteers for granted. Find ways to thank them on a regular basis.

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