20 Quotes for Volunteer Coordinators Who Need a Boost

Leading people well always has its challenges, but leading people who aren’t paid to show up requires next-level finesse and dedication. We’ve all been in those situations that make us wonder what we’re doing and if it’s worth the hassle, but at the end of the day, volunteering and leading volunteers has a way of reminding us that we’re working toward a greater purpose.

If you’re in need of some inspiration or some words to share with your team, take a look at the list below for some fresh perspective.

 

For the times nothing is going right

  • “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  – Anne Frank
  • “Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” – Erma Bombeck
  • “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew

 

For the times people don’t show up

  • “Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Martin Luther King, Jr
  • “If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever.” – Kofi Annan
  • “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

 

For the times your volunteers are struggling

  • “Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.” – Seneca
  • “The most important service to others is service to those who are not like yourself.” – J. Irwin Miller
  • “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • “Always render more and better service than is expected of you, no matter what your task may be.” – Og Mandino
  • “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” – Douglas Adams

 

For the times you think no one cares but you

  • “I am only one, but I am one.  I cannot do everything, but I can do something.  And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” – Edward Everett Hale
  • “It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.” – George Washington Carver

 

For the times you’re feeling burned out

  • “The only service a friend can really render is to keep up your courage by holding up to you a mirror in which you can see a noble image of yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Teresa
  • “The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.” – Thomas Carlyle

 

For the times you need to remember why

  • “What is the essence of life? To serve others and to do good.” – Aristotle
  • “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi
  • “Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

 

Read More

Quiz: Which Power Volunteer Are You?

We’ve all been to that one perfect event where we’ve experienced the passion and hard work from volunteers.

Some are brand new to the event and can’t get enough, others have been there for years. At VolunteerLocal we know every volunteer is important and want them to feel that way. We’re not implying that one volunteer is better than another, but there are a few every organizer would gladly give a gold star. They’re at every planning meeting (often with treats) and can’t help themselves from signing up for that extra shift. I’m sure we could all name a handful of people that fit that description, but I bet many of us don’t realize we’re one of them! Take our highly scientific quiz to find out which kind of power volunteer you are.

 

  • It’s your first time volunteering for your community’s Relay for Life and at the information session you:
    1. Show up early and offer to help set up chairs and hand out packets as the other volunteers come in.
    2. Came in just a few minutes late, you were jogging over to help train for the race and left a little late.
    3. Made sure to bring your tablet to take notes!
    4. You signed up to run and didn’t realize this was a volunteer information session.

 

  • There is a baseball tournament in your town and every year you are the one that:
    1. Signs up to help with check-in and stays until the last game to make sure everyone finds their fields.
    2. Comes to the field in your team’s uniform since you won’t have time to go change before it’s your turn to play.
    3. Brings a white board to put up where each field is at the sports complex.
    4. Doesn’t like playing, but goes to watch your friends play.

 

  • Your plan for dinner tonight is:
    1. You’ll probably just grab something on the go.
    2. You did your meal planning last night so you have your meals planned and in the fridge.
    3. You just started one of those meal services and tonight you are making a quinoa burger.  
    4. Just throw something together when you get hungry.  

 

  • Your friend is telling you about a music festival, and turns out your favorite band is playing. First thing you do when you get a chance is:
    1. Check your calendar! You have a lot going on during the summer and aren’t sure you will be able to go.
    2. You already have tickets – so you’re all set.
    3. Message a group of friends to see if they want to get tickets together.
    4. Buy tickets for the day the band is playing.

 

  •  Which Harry Potter house are you in?
    1. Hufflepuff
    2. Gryffindor
    3. Ravenclaw
    4. Slytherin

 

  • You and your friend planned to have coffee after work, but they canceled on you last minute, how do you feel?
    1. Glad, you had overbooked and needed to cancel too.
    2. Fine, now you have an extra hour to get a few things done.
    3. A little peeved, but happy to spend time organizing for the upcoming week.
    4. No big deal, stuff comes up.

 

  • Your go to social media application is:
    1. Twitter
    2. Instagram
    3. Pinterest
    4. Facebook

 

Mostly 1’s

The Overtimer: Did someone ask for help? You’re there in a second even if you’ve been working all day. You sign up for set-up but end up staying through tear-down.When everyone hits their mid-afternoon slump, you get coffee for everyone!

 

Mostly 2’s

The Doer: You would sign up for the check-in shift but you already promised friends that you would participate in the event with them. Instead, you hit up the festivities first and join the volunteer forces for the second part of the day. If anyone has questions on what’s happening you’re the right person to answer since you experienced it all first-hand!  

 

Mostly 3’s

The Planner: You’ve been volunteering at the same events for a few years and the dates have been marked in your bullet journal since you made your year overview spread. Your goal is to make the event better every year. You’re always asking questions and teaching newbies the best and fastest ways to get things done. You’re the first one to see a bump in the road and ready with a solution!   

 

Mostly 4’s

The Newbie: You’re a volunteer waiting to happen! How did all these people get signed up to volunteer at these fun events? Reach out to your local chamber of commerce, catch up with an Overtimer friend and reach out to your community. There are volunteer opportunities all around you!

 

 

 

Read More

How to Manage Volunteer Expectations

It’s a rare event that doesn’t rely on some kind of volunteer support.

They’re the backbone of any non-profit, along with a surprising number of giant races and multi-million dollar festivals.

Volunteer help is important, but are you getting the people you need? To make sure you are, you need to lay out information clearly for your volunteers.

Make sure you’re open and upfront about what will be expected of your volunteers. Have people sign up for jobs like distributing race packets or checking IDs at the beer tent. A generic “volunteer” option means they don’t know what to expect, and you don’t know what their skills and interests are. That’s a good way to squander talented individuals or end up with an overload of people with similar interests in the same area.

Write up a description for each position, with general information on what is expected. This will make it easy for potential volunteers to find the right fit and stay busy. It also provides a good starting point for super volunteers who may be able to go above and beyond what you’re asking. 

How many times have you visited a website, then went elsewhere because it wanted you to create an account? Sending someone from your website to their email account for verification is inviting huge dropoffs in users. No one wants to remember another password or enter a bunch of information that isn’t relevant to your event. Does your half-marathon really to know the maiden name of everyone’s mother?

Keep it simple and volunteers will come pouring down the funnel.
If they start thinking “Do I really need to do this?” you’re already losing them.

Don’t make anyone dig for information. Have everything a volunteer might need to know in a central place.  Where should they park? Put it on the volunteer page. Where should they check in? Put it on the volunteer page. What should they wear? Who should they get in touch with if they can’t make it? Put it… you get the idea.

 

Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what you would want to know before waking up on event day. It may feel like second nature to you, but you’ve been planning the event for months. The easier you can make the process for them, the more likely they’ll be to volunteer again.

 

 

For more tips and tricks on how to keep your volunteers happy and create a pleasant nonprofit culture, check out this article on how Your Nonprofit Culture Can Be Ruined by These 3 Common Traps.

 

 

Read More