Volunteer Power News Number 18
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2004 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
A warm welcome to all volunteer managers - those of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.
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I want to talk with you this month about motivation. What is motivation and how can we motivate people to volunteer?
How do we motivate the 21 Century, very busy, very independent volunteers, who suffer from the "bowling alone" syndrome?
The "Bowling alone" syndrome was first brought to light in a 2000 best selling book by the same name written by political scientist Robert Putnam of Harvard University. For a variety of reasons, Americans have drifted away from civic activities like voting and belonging to clubs and organizations, and increased their hours in solo activities like television watching, video games and internet suffering.
How do we motivate the 21st Century person to volunteer for our cause?
The truth is that we cannot motivate anyone. And when we try to use our motivational skills-a rousing speech or guilt, our success will be very short lived.
However, everyone is motivated. Bottom line, people do things for their reasons, not yours. That is the key to motivation. We must tap into each volunteer's inner-motivation.
So how do we tap into the inner motivation of our potential volunteers? Here are several ideas that you can use.
A few motivational ideas you can use for recruiting volunteers:
Tap into the inner-motivation of the growing number of self-employed who are highly motivated to volunteer
The often ignored, but ever growing number of self-employed people is growing. Some predict that with the growing trend of outsourcing (the high cost of worker's comp, and company benefits) almost 50% of the workforce in the U.S. will be self-employed by the year 2010. Volunteer managers feel that the self-employed are too busy running their own companies to tap recruit them; however, self employed have a three-fold motivation to volunteer.
First, Self-employed people are entrapueneural and are excited to share their expertise. But they want to be asked. Most will never volunteer. The wise volunteer manager who takes a self-employed person out to lunch and outlines what he/she can do for the organization will find a gold mine of energy, commitment and expertise.
Second, self-employed know that volunteering is a great way to network with potential clients. When they demonstrate their skills and knowledge with owners of local businesses, they demonstrate just how effective and dependable they can be in offering their services.
Third, self-employed people want to make a difference. They will get involved in organizations with a focused mission-which leads to the second idea you can use.
Tap into your cause to stimulate the inner motivation of the volunteer
When you connect your mission to the volunteer's passion, you gain a volunteer who is committed to your organization. Passion can fade over time, so I encourage organizations to keep asking the question, "What is the main thing that we do?" Try to answer that question with a focused mission statement. Give that question to your board or your volunteers and hammer it out into a "cause" or "mission" statement.
Tap into the reasons people volunteer
In Sue Vineyard's book Secrets of Motivation: How to Get and Keep Volunteers and Paid Staff, here are several of the characteristics she relates about today's volunteers. As I read her characteristics I noted words like learn, satisfaction, time, model values, relationships, and solve problems.
So how do we motivate volunteers? We don't. We provide the opportunities for volunteer to fulfill their inner motivation through our organizations. Sounds like a win/win to me.
I recently spent six hours with 40 volunteer managers on the following topics. We laughed and brainstormed, and came away highly energized with new enthusiasm as we tapped into our inner motivation. The topics for discussion were:
We would love to
put facilitate this workshop for your volunteer managers. Give us a
call at (916) 635-0677 or fill out our contact
Thomas W. McKee
Tom McKee is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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