Identifying and Recruiting Future Volunteer Leaders
"We sometimes feel that what we do is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." - Mother Theresa
Identifying and Recruiting Future Volunteer Leaders:
Did you know that for the most part, the higher the education level of people the more likely they are to volunteer - and the more hours they will give the organization? Now is the time to look at your community and focus on finding those volunteers. Not only will they be able to contribute their time and experience, they most likely will have a specific talent or skill that will move your organization forward.
Here are some other ideas for developing future leaders in your organization:
Create a volunteer leadership-training matrix (master plan). Give volunteer leaders many opportunities to further their education, through training and continuing education.
Host volunteer orientations on an annual basis, or more often. Job descriptions change and grow, and volunteer leaders should be the first to know of these changes. Knowledge equals power.
Allow your volunteers to start where they are. Do they need to begin with a committee assignment before co-chairing or chairing a committee? Oftentimes we want to put high profile people in roles of leadership and authority before they have had the proper training or gotten to know all the processes of their particular committee. Experience builds leadership.
Learn about the people involved – beyond their volunteer roles. Learn their likes, dislikes, talents, what excites them, why they volunteer, etc. This will create a sense of Team and unity that nothing can diminish.
Give potential leaders the chance to prove themselves by providing limited opportunities for them to learn, grow and shine. Have them run a meeting, co-facilitate a training program, or make a presentation.
Provide continuous opportunities for feedback. This includes needs assessments, and interim “job applications.” People evolve and learn new skills. The organization that stays on top of their volunteer leadership development will never run out of potential and future leaders to carry on the mission.
Build in “term limits” so that you have a continuous need for new, fresh ideas. Otherwise you will continue to hear “we have never done it that way,” from the old guard making it difficult if not impossible to recruit people who wish to make a difference. Volunteers want to be heard. Volunteers want to know that their efforts are appreciated.
© 2005 - Heidi Richards
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Heidi Richards is the author of The PMS Principles, Powerful Marketing Strategies to Grow Your Business and 7 other books. She is also the Founder & CEO of the Women’s ECommerce Association, International www.WECAI.org (pronounced wee-kī) – an Internet organization that “Helps Women Do Business on the WEB.” Basic Membership is FREE. Ms. Richards can be reached at Heidi@speakingwithspirit.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.