10 Reasons The Best Volunteers Don't Volunteer

1. They are too busy.

Simple but true. They are not sitting around wondering what to do with their time - they are passionate and motivated, busy changing the world. If you want these busy people to volunteer you may have to rethink what it means to volunteer on your team. Which do you value most - are you looking for ABILITY or AVAILABILITY?

2. They didn't notice the need.

And because they are busy people they often don’t see the need. Not because they don’t care, just that they didn’t see. Great leaders help potential volunteers see and understand the cause and help them get involved.

3. They think volunteering isn't flexible enough for them.

Flexibility is important for people with busy lives. As highlighted earlier, ability is often more valuable than availability. Don't make the mistake of treating everyone the same - cut them some slack and you may be surprised what happens.

4. The team is poorly led.

The very best volunteers will only follow really good leaders. They’re looking for people of character and vision to get behind, not some joker who will end up wasting their time.

5. You didn't ask them.

The best volunteers are often recruited. Ask them.

6. When you asked them you didn't convince them.

You need to be convincing, passionate and most of all likeable if you are going to convince anyone to volunteer. Assuming that you’re going all out to recruit the best volunteers you can find, you’ll have to polish your pitch, know what you want and get your head in the game. If not, you’ll be left disappointed.

7. They are looking for a cause not simply something to do.

Giving up valuable time is a big deal for everyone, more so if you’re already trying to negotiate a full week of work and family life. This is why the only thing that's going to attract the best volunteer is a cause, not another task. Talk cause not task and they’ll get it.

8. They are already leading on another team.

Great volunteers are snapped up quickly by those who care and go after them. If you aren’t looking and ready, you won’t recruit them.

9. You're an average leader.

It will take the best to attract the best. How good do you organise the team and do you strive for excellence? It makes a difference, don’t underestimate the attraction of a spirit of excellence.

10. Their last volunteer experience was a shambles.

Unfortunately many people simply won’t volunteer their time because of a poor volunteering experience in the past. You can’t do anything about the past but applying some of the principles listed above, you may be in with a chance of changing their perspective of what it means to volunteer.