Volunteers are the most valuable resource nonprofits have. Volunteers have the ability to work willingly with the nonprofit for the betterment of their community, the mission, and themselves.
The image of the volunteer has changed over time. Gone is the stereotype of the middle-aged housewife with time on her hands. Now volunteers come from all walks of life: they may be a teenager learning to manage responsibility by caring for wounded wildlife, an executive sharing management skills with a community group or a retiree enjoying a new friendship as a volunteer reader at the community library.
Ideally, volunteers find the donation of their time and energy a meaningful experience for themselves as well as for the organization. A true win/win situation.
- objectivity – especially in the delivery of services
- refreshed energy
- specialized skills and knowledge
- new ideas to enrich the existing program
- ability to lessen the overall workload
- fresh ideas
- new perspectives
- unique set of skills
Why Do People Volunteer?
- because they believe in the cause
- to help others and contribute to the community
- to use skills in a new setting
- to find new friends and new relationships
- to develop a sense of accomplishment and self-worth
- to learn new skills
- to meet requirements of a course or program
- to challenge themselves
- to work for a cause
- to gain recognition for their abilities
- to help improve the quality of community life
Volunteers are very special people whose donation of time and effort warrants special consideration. They should always be encouraged to grow, learn and seek fulfillment as they help an organization, even if it means accepting the reality that not everyone is perfect for every job.
- Formal recognition – is important volunteer’s (i.e., at banquets, in press releases, etc.)
- Informal recognition – is more important. This is done through personal interactions