3 Ways to Grasp the Best Volunteers

We’ve all been there. Getting the right volunteers is rough, but by using the 3 R’s there is a formula that won’t fail your organization.

Over 60 million people spend an average of 52 hours a year volunteering their time with nonprofit organizations. There are so many organizations worldwide and most agree that volunteers are a key component to the success of their overall operation system. However, finding these fantastic volunteers is where the real work at the organization begins.

The 3 R’s include

1. Relevant

Volunteers want to feel needed and productive. They want their time to be used in their particular interests and skills. Everyone wants to be apart of something bigger in this world, so let them! To get the most valuable volunteers, interview them to learn more about why the are so motivated in your cause, what skill sets they offer, and their interests before assigning them a task. Keep it to their needs as well as your own.

2. Realistic

 The average volunteer is between 35 and 64 years old and is most likely employed (not to mention, probably volunteering at other organizations as well). So…your average volunteer is leading a pretty busy life. When you are starting a volunteer program, your goal should be to expand the capacity of your organization. Do this by using that enthusiasm your volunteers will offer you! Give them tasks that can be accomplished without overwhelming them, remember they have a life too!

3. Rewarding

 People volunteer so they can feel good about themselves and help people at the same time. So when you are developing a volunteer program, focus on providing them work that your volunteers will be proud to talk about with their friends, loved ones, and colleagues (this is your ticket for more volunteers!). If there is work that needs to be done, always make an effort to match the right volunteer to the task. Just like many of your donors, volunteers will thrive with passion when recognized and appreciated for their efforts at your organization.

So in a nutshell….better volunteers create effectiveness within your organization, make our lives a heck of a lot more manageable, and possibly become financial supporters as well!

To learn more about finding the perfect volunteers visit “Build a Successful Volunteer Program,” a Foundation Center webinar, on February 9, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET.


Marni Wax is a student in the Journalism school at the University of Iowa. She spends her free time running, listening to music, and enjoying a large cup of coffee while scrolling through social media pages. 


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