The 12 Basic Needs of Every Volunteer
(Excerpted from Volunteers, How to Get Them, How to Keep Them: An essential guide for volunteer leaders and staff of professional, trade and charitable organizations by Helen Little (Panacea Press, 1999). Used with permission.)
There are 12 basic needs that all volunteers and volunteer leaders share. These are needs that must be met if volunteers are to be successful and if you are to retain them year after year.
1. A specific manageable task with a beginning and an end.
2. A task that matches interests and reasons for volunteering.
3. A good reason for doing the task.
4. Written instructions.
5. A reasonable deadline for completing the task.
6. Freedom to complete the task when and where it is most convenient for the volunteer.
7. Everything necessary to complete the task without interruption.
8. Adequate training.
9. A safe, comfortable, and friendly working environment.
10. Follow-up to see that the task is completed.
11. An opportunity to provide feedback when the task is finished.
12. Appreciation, recognition, and rewards that match the reasons for volunteering.
Recognizing these needs and knowing how to meet them will help you expand the number of members who volunteer and increase the number of hours each gives to your association.
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