24 May, 2013

What It Means When Your Organization "Can't Get People To Volunteer"

If your organization is short-handed and your stable of hardworking volunteers are tired and weary, don't say it's because people are lazy and won't work. Here are some of the major reasons organizations dependent upon volunteers don't have enough:

1. People who did volunteer, were rejected. Don't treat your volunteer positions like little plums that you only give out to your friends or you'll always be shorthanded and tired. The question is not "Why don't people want to work?" the question is "How tired and shorthanded do you have to become before you'll realize your buddies aren't volunteering and it's time you signed up some people from outside your social circle?"

2. Perhaps people don't volunteer because they don't agree with your organization's mission or don't see how your organization's activities and projects further that mission. In other words, you're being boycotted by people who would otherwise volunteer. Perhaps it's time to re-think the way you spend volunteer time and labor. Maybe you're tired and shorthanded because potential volunteers know you'll just squander the help if you get it.

3. Sometimes people who would otherwise volunteer are waiting for leadership to change. Maybe it's time to open under new management.
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