If people in charge of volunteers would keep the following in mind, the world would be a happier place. And happy people are more willing to volunteer. Which means more volunteers. Which means you do these things more often. To keep volunteers happy. And you get more volunteers. It's a wonderful cycle.
People in charge of volunteers, take note.
1 DO give clear instructions on what is expected of each volunteer. How much time should the task take? When should it be done? What exactly do you want the volunteer to do? Has someone done this before, so we don't have to reinvent the wheel? The volunteer wants to do a good job. She can't do that if she doesn't know what her job is.
2 DO make sure the volunteer has the tools needed to complete the job. Think through the steps of a job, then collect the things a person will need to do it. If a person is supposed to empty trash cans, you darn well better have a supply of new trash bags easily accessible. If you want someone to paint a mural for VBC, make sure you have the paint, brushes, clean-up supplies, and a clear idea of what the mural is to look like.
3 DO match the tasks to the number of volunteers needed to complete it. Too many volunteers, and you have bored, irritated people who are standing around doing nothing. Too few volunteers, and the folks helping you are overworked and unhappy. Think it through, and plan accordingly. Their time is valuable. Respect it.
These last two are the most important. Pay close attention.
4 DO NOT subject your volunteers to horribly long, off-topic meetings. If a meeting must be held, fine. But don't be wasting every one's time by starting or ending late, going off-topic into the land of gossip, or explaining every single mind-numbing detail about how you chose the napkins for the dinner. Their time is valuable. Respect it as such.
5. DO respect and encourage your volunteers. Guilting people into action is not encouragement. Asking if they need anything or have any questions is. Wasting time is not showing respect. Thanking a person for a job well done is.
Everyone is busy. Everyone has a lot of things to do. If you want people to volunteer, keep this fact in mind. If a volunteer feels he isn't being respected, or if a volunteer feels he is being taken advantage of, he won't volunteer again.
Organize yourself before you organize your volunteers.
I beg of you.
If you can't, I hear worker bees are in high demand.
Have a lovely day!
I just saw that this week's FTSF sentence is "I am passionate about..."
Yeah, I'm quite passionate about volunteers and their time being respected.