The key to recruiting volunteers « Leadership Freak

Non-profits run on volunteer juice. If it weren’t for volunteers (unpaid staff) — many churches and other organizations would collapse.  That’s why as a “talent broker” in a local church — I’m really interested in what makes volunteers sign up, do a phenominal job, and then stay signed up for the long haul.

A surprising insight by Dan Rockwell reveals volunteers sign up for personal reasons…not for reasons for the organization.  Dan says…

People volunteer for personal reasons, not organizational reasons. — If you work in the nonprofit sector, you might want to read that again. — Successful recruiting efforts focus first on the motivations and talents of potential volunteers and then on organizational mission and vision.

First, talk to them about them, and then talk to them about you. Your goal is finding alignment between personal and organizational values, mission, and vision.

via The key to recruiting volunteers « Leadership Freak.

That’s serious rethinking when it comes to recruiting volunteers.

If you volunteer, you might be slightly offended by Dan’s statement.  It could be a downer to think that we volunteer for our own personal reasons.

He simply is saying that YOU make YOU tick more than the organization makes you tick. Rarely do volunteers sign up and say, “Wow, I want to make that organization successful.”  He is saying that there’s usually an internal motivator that causes a volunteer to sign up (how it makes them feel, a personal conviction, a desire to give back, etc.).

If you volunteer — what’s your motivation for stepping up without pay?

If you are a talent broker — do you focus on what makes the talent tick?

4 Responses to The key to recruiting volunteers « Leadership Freak

  1. Joan Crouse says:

    Hadn’t thought of it like that, but of course it is true. I volunteered to go to Lebanon because I knew that was what God wanted me to do, and I wanted to do whatever He wanted me to do. What a blessing that was!

  2. Dan Rockwell says:

    It’s a delight to write something others find useful. Thanks for the shout out!

    I wish you success.



  3. Jesse Deloe says:

    Good to see you at Lititz!
    You might bind a BMH Books title helpful: The Volunteer, a Personal Tookit for the Dedicated Volunteer, by Doug Fagerstrom (Forword by Joe Stowell). It’s available at or Amazon.

  4. Jesse Deloe says:

    I meant to say, You might FIND a…

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