10 Questions Volunteers Are Asking

Recruiting and retaining volunteers is one of the most challenging and yet essential tasks any leader must undertake. Getting people to help without any compensation requires a particular set of skills that in my experience, are developed over time. Some of the best leaders I know have a knack of attracting the right people and keeping them for the long haul. One of the key things to building great volunteer teams is to understand what they're thinking. With this in mind, here's 10 of the most common questions I've come across that a potential volunteer may be asking;


1. What’s it all about?

People want to know what its all about, why everyone is volunteering and more importantly, if its something that interests them. Find a way to answer this question before they ask anyone to get involved and commit to the team.


2. Who’s currently volunteering?

Many people want to gather alongside people like themselves, or perhaps people they respect and aspire to be like. Start with the tight people and watch more of the right people join your team real soon.


3. Who is leading the team?

Leadership is influence. People will volunteer or not often depending on who is leading the project or team. Choose your leaders wisely or you'll struggle to get the best volunteers. 


4. Do I have the time?

No-one really has enough time but everyone can find time if they think it’s worth it. Make it worth it.


5. What will I get out of it?

People want payback. It could be friendship, training, experience, a clear conscience or any other number of things. What's the big payoff for volunteers on your team?


6. Is it going to cost me money?

Everyone is cost conscience, especially when giving their time. It’s sensible and reasonable for them to consider the implications to their pocket.


7. What do I need to do to join up?

Make it clear, easy, uncomplicated and the process with as few hoops as possible to jump through. 


8. What do I do if I don’t want to volunteer anymore?

Everyone at some point they will need an exit strategy and know how to access it. Most people volunteer with the short term in mind, which is ok. Answering this question before they sign up may help get the best out of them whilst they’re with you.


9. I wonder if they’d let me volunteer?

If someone is asking themselves this question it can only be a good thing. It shows they value the opportunity and will give everything to make it work. Happy days. What are you waiting for?


10 Will I have to wear that t-shirt?

T-shirts are not for everyone. Ask yourself how essential a uniform is and if it is hindering people from volunteering. There may be no way around it but any good leader will look at ways to remove any barriers to volunteering your time. On the other hand, it could be the deal breaker, some people love a free t-shirt!