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Volunteers - Tips to Motivating Them - Part I

by Heidi Richards


Recruiting volunteers is only half the challenge. You must properly train them so they will work out to be true assets.

As we help volunteers recognize the rewards of their service, we must also acknowledge that there may be a downside. Volunteering takes time away from the family or personal pursuits. Good leaders" tell it like it is," being careful not to understate what is expected. Let your volunteers know up front exactly what is involved in their tasks and what is expected of them, and they will appreciate you for it.

Personal contact is the key to more effective recruiting. While volunteers will respond to public invitations such as media announcements and ads, they respond more easily to personal invitations to become involved. Be careful that the persons being recruited are the right fit and not just saying yes to a good "sales pitch."

Motivating volunteers means that they feel they are wanted and needed, are an important part of the organization, are accepted by the group and that they are contributing to the heart of the community. Enrolling new volunteers selectively with long-term commitment as the primary criteria will ensure that they are "motivated" from the outset.

People like being appreciated. We all want to be recognized for our contributions. It makes us feel good when we are thanked for our efforts. Appreciated volunteers are more likely to continue to serve.

Recognition should be commensurate to what the volunteer has achieved; it must be earned. False praise can be counter-productive and even offensive to some.

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About the Author: Copyright MMIII by Heidi Richards, Author - Rose Marketing on a Daisy Budget, Show Her the Money, The Career Compass for Women, What's Your OccuPLAYtion? and many others. For more information visit: www.HeidiRichards.com
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