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Ever wonder why people volunteer, and more importantly, why they don't? How about those volunteers who leave a specific volunteer placement? Each year, more than 35% of volunteers drop out of their volunteer placement; many choose not to volunteer in another location.
In 2009 the Corporation for National and Community Service conducted focus groups across the country and asked current volunteers, folks who hadn't volunteered in the last 12 months, and those who had never volunteered what motivates and demotivates them.
The seven page research brief provides an excellent overview of both why some do not volunteer and ways to successfully (and cheaply) recruit more volunteers. The main reasons individuals choose not to volunteer:
- They worry about having enough time to volunteer;
- They have had a negative experience due to poor volunteer management;
- They believe most volunteers are retired, without children, and with an abundance of leisure time. This describes only some, but not the majority of volunteers.
The study also identified the following factors which encourages volunteering:
- Personal invitations from current volunteers are appealing to prospective volunteers.
- Skill-based volunteering is attractive to new volunteers.
Use the findings from this report to recruit and retain volunteers.
- Highlight your current volunteers to demonstrate volunteers come from all walks of life.
- Encourage current volunteers to recruit family, friends and neighbors to join them.
- Develop volunteer positions that use the volunteers' current skills or help develop additional skills.
- Don't assume you know the type of volunteer work any person would like to take on-ask them!
- Check with volunteers to see if they like what they are doing, or would like to try something different.