The key to volunteers on your side is ownership. It’s more than just delegating jobs, though that is a step in the process. It’s giving those people who believe in you and the mission an opportunity to participate meaningfully and fully (even if it’s only an hour a week).
Organization on your part is key to this. Encouragement, emails, notes, directions, supplies and needs for your volunteers has to be a top priority for you so that they can be invested and successful.
Tips for attracting those who will become committed to you and the mission:
– Start with vision and mission of your organization. Vision will be motivating if you share it with people.
– Pray for a team to surround you. If you are starting from scratch, pray for just one key person.
– Create a framework for the role. Much like any job description, know what you need, write it out, then begin seeking the person who may be passionate about fulfilling.
– Always have an answer for the person that asks you, “what can I do to help you”?
– Ask potential volunteers personally and directly. Much of general appeal publicity is just to lay ground work. The rubber hits the road when you ask face to face.
– Let their voice do some attracting – your fulfilled team will naturally talk with friends and neighbors and will pull them in if there is a framework for needed positions.
Tips for staying organized for your volunteer team:
– Be prepared, be timely, be enthusiastic, be prompt.
– Hold to the allotted meeting times, no matter what else you might want to say
– Give them plenty of advance notice – probably the most loving thing you can do for your team is plan ahead.
– Build systems for your volunteers to serve in – make it easy and fun and predictable.
– Groom a key person for each of the areas of vision that you volunteer teams serve in. Work with person to help lead the others in these areas.
Tips for moving your volunteers from obligation to ownership:
– The key step to moving people from obligation to ownership is opportunity. Help them see their role as an opportunity to 1) grow the organization, 2) develop the faith / needs of children 3) make a difference in the community by… 4) any number of things specific to your vision.
– Give them direction and authority. After a season of learning, connecting and finding their niche, begin to turn them loose. Stand behind their decisions, and pull them into key decisions making processes.
– Give your team credit and pats on the back, frequently, publicly and generously.
– Enjoy your team and the relationships you have with them. Enjoy the time.
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