Give volunteers what they want!

When you offer volunteers a way to help, make sure you give them enough choices so they can select something they enjoy. The way we pay our volunteers is by giving them a chance to be useful while doing something they like to do. For me, I really enjoy organizing people and projects. Knowing I get to use my administrative gifts to help others be more efficient or effective truly lifts my spirits. When I feel a bit lost, I usually just need a chance to be really useful … Once I feel like I am truly making a difference in someone’s life, I start to feel purposeful and better about myself. Everyone wants a chance to be useful and contribute. But it’s essential that everyone gets a chance to do this in a way that is special to each volunteer and his or her gifts and interests.

If there isn’t a job that lines up with a volunteer’s interests, either put the volunteer on hold for a while or ask the volunteer to help create a job that is a good fit for him. You’ll be amazed at how creative volunteers can be, and doesn’t everyone like to have a voice? So go ahead — give those volunteers what they want!

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