21 April 2021 | 2 min read
BACK TO BASICS #1 - FIND PEOPLE WHO FIT
The whole world paused in 2020.
Now, in 2021, things are different. The old rules for running volunteer teams don’t apply anymore. It’s time to throw out the rulebook and start getting creative with the way we approach volunteer management. Thousands of organizations are starting from scratch. Even companies with large volunteer workforces (who have been operating for years) are reexamining the way they do business. Now is the perfect time to refocus and create a better system.
Over the next seven weeks, we’ll publish a different article on the basics of creating a fantastic volunteer team in the post-pandemic world.
Let’s get back to the basics.
BASICS #1 – Finding Volunteers Who Fit Your Organization
Many organizations feel so desperate for volunteers that they make the mistake of taking anyone who signs up. Your organization is doing important work. You deserve a team who will support you while bringing positive energy to help make your brand shine. The best way to find volunteers who fit your brand?
1) Shout your values
Multiple studies show that people gravitate toward those who share their values. One of the best ways to gather people with similar interests and beliefs is to tell the world what you’re passionate about…loudly. Clearly expressing your values will do two things: 1) draw in people who share those values and appreciate what you’re doing, and 2) draw out people who hate what you’re doing and want to tell you why. Both results mean you’re on the right track! If your organization isn’t clear on its values, we recommend reading Simon Sinek’s Start with Why to help clarify your overall goals.
2) Show up
Show up to the places your dream volunteer would hang out. If you’re targeting seniors who have flexible schedules, try networking at libraries or community centers. If teens getting their community service hours in are your primary volunteers, connect with local high schools and supercharge your social media. You have to be where your ideal volunteer would be, whether that is a physical location or online. Make sure your presence is felt and that your image reflects your organization’s values.
3) Say no
Finding volunteers who fit your organization is a lot like dating. You might have to go out with a few weirdos before finding Mr. or Mrs. Right. The reality is that matching volunteers to a role is a little bit messy and should be carefully thought out by both sides. Your organization may not be a good match for the potential volunteer either. Be open and honest at the early stages. Don’t be afraid to say no to potential volunteers who won’t be a good fit for your team. It will be much easier for everyone in the long run if you’re honest upfront.
For more ideas on finding volunteers who fit, read our article on How to Identify Your Dream Volunteer Team.