Via the United Way of Houston Newsletter
- Expect that announcements alone with recruit volunteers. (Surveys report that people dont volunteer because they were never asked.
- Operate on your own. (Use a team approach to brainstorm possible volunteer candidates and identify the best way to connect with prospects. Also consider partnering with other organizations).
- Insist on lifelong commitments rather than short-term project assignments. (People are afraid of getting tied into something that will be hard to get out of.)
- Assume that no means never. (A no may simply mean that the timing is wrong, or that the proposed task is not interesting. Try again and offer varied options for involvement.)
- Fall into the BIC (butt in the chair) trap. (Sometimes an empty chair is better than one that is filled with someone who does nothing or is very high maintenance.)
- Being people-focused rather than position-focused. (You must be clear about the nature of the work in order to have a mutually beneficial experience for the volunteer and for the organization).
- Giving the volunteer staff position the wrong job title. (If volunteer administration falls under other duties as assigned rather than a dedicated job title such as director of volunteer services, it is clear to all that volunteers are not a top priority in your organization.).
Excerpted from Solid Foundation. How using proven management techniques creates rewarding relationships with your volunteers, by Paul LaGasse in Advancing Philanthropy, March-April 2009.