If you’re anything like me, you truly believe in the work you do. My belief in volunteering is strong enough that I can actually feel it in the pit of my stomach. This is how I know that working in the Volunteer Center at FirstLink is a great fit for me — it usually doesn’t feel like work and I know my time is going toward something worthwhile.
If you aren’t like me, well, you’re probably going to have a more difficult time recruiting volunteers. Someone who truly believes in the work their organization accomplishes will have an easier time. Why? So glad you asked!
Attitudes are infectious, that’s why! A negative attitude spreads like wildfire— to employees, co-workers and volunteers. Ever notice that when you’re around someone who is unenthusiastic, lackadaisical, perhaps even melancholy, that you begin to feel that way too? Thank goodness a positive attitude is infectious too. The more you believe in what your organization is trying to accomplish, the more it will rub off on your volunteers. Most people enjoy working with others who have a good attitude and are happy about being where they are (just make sure your attitude is sincere!).
You can help your volunteers believe in your mission as well; keep them enthusiastic by being there for them, sharing the accomplishments and all the benefits of volunteering for YOUR organization. Primarily, focus on person-centered motivational factors of volunteering and the manner in which it relates to your organization.
Lastly, remember to have fun! A great book to read is ‘Fish- A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results’ by author Stephen C. Lundin. It’s a unique story about a fish company in Seattle and the fun they have at work. They work hard but go about doing so in such a unique way that they increase employee retention, energize their team, deliver remarkable customer service, and develop leaders that inspire everyone around them. They involve their customers in their daily work, and get them excited about the products they sell. There are ways for you to incorporate some of their principles into your volunteer program, even though you (probably) don’t sell fish! Here is a link to read more about the Fish philosophy and training program:
So – start having fun and spread your passion!
“To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.”
― Mahatma Gandhi