No matter what the cause is, you will find reasons why volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations. That is because they are often the ones with the most reason to be there even when they are not on the payroll.
These humans, your volunteers, provide support to your organization unparalleled to any monetary means. You’ll see, once your organization has a solid structure for volunteers installed, it will begin to exponentially grow and receive support.
That’s just how it works.
Below, we’ve compiled 8 reasons we think volunteers are the most important part of any organization. Let’s see by the end if you agree.
Why are Volunteers so Important to your Organization?
Often, volunteers have a reason for volunteering when they do. Whether it is encouraged by something they don’t agree with politically, something that happened in their life, a sudden realization they made, or any number of other incidents, the people willing to volunteer are often those who are prepared to join the fight.
They will bring a certain intensity and fire that your organization needs.
Volunteers want to get the job done. Many times, they are there for a good – not a long – time. This means they’ll be ready to make their time worthwhile with 100 miles per hour worth of drive and motivation.
Make sure you’re ready to feed them the necessary tasks to fill their drive and allow them to feel as impactful with their limited amount of time as possible.
3. Outward Perspective
An outward perspective in any business is majorly important. This, too, extends to the nonprofit sector.
As a charity or not-for-profit organization, you want to make sure you stay genuine, active, and supportive of your given cause as it appears to the outside world. A lot of times, as you are working mostly with people who are involved in the cause, you’re perspective may get skewed.
It’s always nice to have someone from the outside join your team, if only for a little bit, to get the outward perspective needed to hold-up your reputation.
In terms of recruiting more help, volunteers work magic in creating a funnel of helping hands. Often, volunteers come in waves.
They may volunteer with friends, family, or significant others. This means that by inspiring one person to join the cause, you’ve enlisted two, three, four – maybe even ten people!
This chain-reaction also applies to the word-of-mouth that is spread after a volunteer leaves. If they have a good volunteer experience and feel motivated upon leaving, they will inspire others to join the cause naturally.
Make sure your volunteer wants to tell his or her friends what they’ve been up to.
Sometimes, the best ideas come from those on the front lines.
Remember the fire you had all those years ago before you started your organization and before you knew all what you know now about the cause?
Remember the ideas you had to fix things? Those are ideas you just can’t come up with once you start learning things about the industry.
It’s true, but that doesn’t mean those ideas can’t work – at least to a certain extent.
Volunteers often have super ideas even after such a short time with the organization. Always give your volunteers an appropriate and meaningful way to share ideas with your organization.
Volunteers are often thrusted into positions of all natures and asked to handle tasks they have no experience in. The good ones will manage to do an excellent job.
You can ask them to do this because they understand what they’re there for – to help in any means necessary. Their role often isn’t defined which means they have no expectations and are ready to take on whatever challenge needs to be done.
Just make sure you don’t take advantage of that fact.
Nobody requires volunteers to show up. They don’t earn any pay, they don’t work on contracts (normally), and oftentimes they don’t get enough help from the under-manned full-time staff. There’s no reason to show up and work hard toward the cause every day except that they do.
And they continue to work hard and improve your cause and move toward a solution. That simple fact has endless value.
8. Positive Environment
Having people around that are passionate about what they are working on increases positivity within the organization’s environment. This will also have a positive impact on many other facets of operation.
This is a benefit you can’t truly understand until one day you’ve realized a complete change in organizational culture.
Volunteers are the Backbone of Nonprofit Organizations
Trying to operate as a nonprofit organization without a great system of volunteers is going to be nearly impossible. Volunteered labor is often the only way things get done for organizations just starting or who work with a low budget.
That is why it is absolutely necessary to install the right steps for your volunteer system and ensure your volunteers are getting treated fairly and being given enough duties to satisfy their time.
If you are interested in the CreativeVolunteer program, feel free to apply or send us an email at email@example.com.
If you’re a part of an organization interested in partnering with us so we can send you passionate volunteers who are able and willing to tell a great story within your organization, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.