10 Types Of Volunteer

Volunteers are amazing people and come in all shapes and sizes. Recognising that they are different is a key ingredient in building healthy volunteer teams.

Here's a few types I've come across over the years -


1. The Reluctant Volunteer.

They are the slow starters but this doesn’t mean they won’t turn out the be the volunteer of the year. They are cautious, have questions and unsure of if they can spare the time. Don’t write them off.


2. The Enthusiastic Volunteer.

“Hello, how can I help?!”. They are a joy to every leader’s eyes and ears! Where can we find more just like these?


3. The Lonely Volunteer.

Some people volunteer because they want to help - others because they are lonely. The hope is they won’t stay lonely for very long!


4. The Ambitious Volunteer.

They think they have a special future and you’re going to help them get there. Whilst not always a bad trait to have be aware of those who use others for their own gain. This behaviour doesn’t fit in the volunteer world.


5. The Driven Volunteer.

You will never need to ask them twice. Often you will be dragging them back to the rest of the bunch but this volunteer is someone to keep your eyes on and developing in a leadership capacity.


6. The Odd Volunteer.

Don’t try to build the perfect volunteer team, its never going to happen. Volunteers come from all walks of life and if the task allows, you’ll attract a variety of people. Learn to celebrate them, love them and find them a good fit somewhere in the organisation.


7. The High Capacity, Low Availability Volunteer.

Some people just don’t have the spare time to volunteer - they work long hours and have very responsible jobs. However, these people often have a very high capacity and could volunteer in another specialist capacity, or even help you work smarter. Many organisations fail to utilise these busy people but in my experience they are invaluable.


8. The Short Term Volunteer.

Not everyone is going to be a volunteer for life. Don't stress it, don't take it personal and make it good while it lasts.


9. The Career Volunteer.

They have it in their DNA and they live to volunteer. Their circumstances allow them to be ever present and a valuable contributor. Recognise and be a rewarder of longevity.


10. The Secret Volunteer.

Some people have high pressured jobs and just want to come a volunteer unnoticed. Let them.