How to be a Good Volunteer.

May 6, 2011


What kind of volunteer are you?

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post on why we volunteer, I have some put together some ideas on what makes a good volunteer. These are just some examples. I would love to hear what you think makes a good volunteer.

1. Know why you are volunteering. If it’s charity, are you passionate about it? If it’s business is the association a fit for your personal strategic plan? Are you doing it to help someone who has helped you or because your target market might be more reachable through your efforts.

2. Understand how the organization operates. Are volunteers the doers or the idea people? Understand what your responsibilities are and what the responsibilities of the organization are. If you are on a call, who is responsible for note-taking? As a volunteer what are you authorized to do? If you are unclear of what is expected, ask!

3. Share your skills and resources and leverage them to help the organization. Can you do graphic design? Can you sell ice to Eskimos? Do you have access to a printer? Does your brother own a deli that could donate food for an event? Are you an expert who can provide education? It’s important to communicate the unique ways that you can help an organization so they know how to use you.

4.  Get to know the other volunteers. This is great for relationship building and it also helps with communication.

5. Be committed. Even though you are not getting paid and you have a million other responsibilities, if you say that you are going to do something, do it. Organizations count on volunteers to follow-through. Don’t take on projects that you can’t handle.

6. Be a leader. Organizations need people to take charge. If you can, don’t be afraid to serve as a committee chair or president. Volunteering can be very rewarding, make the most of it and give it your all.

7. Have fun! No explanation needed.