Working With Volunteers

Motivating Volunteers: A 4 Step Process

Step 1. Identify the job to be done. Put it in writing so that you have a clear vision of what needs doing.

Step 2. Select the best person or group for the job. List the qualities and experience you desire.

Step 3. What motivates this person (or these people)? What enticed them to succeed in the past? (Recognition, an award, appreciation, a challenge...) See Volunteer Motivators below for a list of probable motivators.

Step 4. Link the desired outcome with the individual's motivator.

Don't Forget! Motivation is no secret weapon. Everything we do is based on motivation. Even those people we call "selfless" and "altruistic" are acting on motivation- the admirable motivation of the "good feeling".

Volunteer Motivators (What makes Scouters scout?)

  1. Plan annual ceremonies to recognize volunteers.
  2. Rely on them in an emergency situation.
  3. Give them the honor of meeting with higher-ups.
  4. Recognize personal needs and problems.
  5. Take time to explain things fully.
  6. Put up a volunteer suggestion box (and answer all suggestions)
  7. Provide training.
  8. Mention them in media coverage.
  9. Greet them by name.
  10. Ask them for a report.
  11. Give them challenging assignments.
  12. Trust them with additional responsibility.
  13. Be familiar with details of their assignments.
  14. Honestly confront them when you have a problem with them.
  15. Let them know they were missed if absent.
  16. Send letters of commendation to their employers.
  17. Recognize a volunteer in each newsletter.
  18. Recognize a "volunteer of the month".
  19. Hold exit interviews and say "thank-you".
  20. Conduct regular conferences and evaluations.
  21. Accept and be thankful for their individuality.
  22. Be genuine, let them get to know you.
  23. Praise them in front of others.
  24. Serve as a volunteer yourself, to stay in touch.
  25. Carefully match the volunteer with the specific task.
  26. Nominate them for volunteer awards.
  27. Get their input on difficult issues and policy decisions.
  28. Send cards on special occasions.
  29. Ask them for suggestions on their job design.
  30. Use them as consultants.
  31. Equate volunteer experience with work eexperience.
  32. Be prepared for meetings.
  33. Ask them (informally) for their suggestions on important topics.
  34. Value their time.
  35. Take time to talk with them.
  36. Ask them to help train others.
  37. See that they grow on the job.
  38. Let them grow out of a job.
  39. Start and end on time.
  40. Prepare and distribute meeting agendas ahead of time.
  41. Update them on BSA current events.