When it comes to running a non-profit, especially a new one, it may feel like there aren’t enough hands to do the work that needs doing. It may be tempting to simply take what you can get without slowing down or discouraging volunteers with a strict vetting process, but to do that means to jeopardize the mission and purpose of your organization and the communities you serve.
Here’s what you need to know about the trends of volunteerism and its best practices.
Understanding What Drives Volunteers
First of all, who’s volunteering? Survey results reported by Verified Volunteers show that in the U.S. in 2016, the volunteer pool was divided three ways between 18-34 year olds (28%), 35-54 year olds (33%), and those who were 55+ years old (34%).
What attracts volunteers to your, or any, organization? Participants reported that volunteers aged 35 years and younger are often largely motivated by skills-based volunteer opportunities that leverage the skills they’ve gained at school and at work, while the older set (55+) want to “give back” to the community. Understanding these motivations will assist in targeted recruiting strategies. For example, the younger set may be more attracted to opportunities that fall in line with their professional experience, while retirees will respond better to task-based worked: packing boxes, planting trees, etc.
For either set, thorough volunteer screening practices are essential to weeding out individuals who may not fully share the spirit of your mission at best or may create serious liability issues for yourself and your patrons.
Contact VICTIG to learn which screening methods you should be employing for your volunteer organization.