Instinctively, most of us in the nonprofit sector would say “heck no!” If there were enough potential volunteers, we wouldn’t be scrambling to get the help we need, right?
Sunny Fader says wrong, and we think she’s right. In her new book, “365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating, and Rewarding Your Volunteers,” she begins by debunking three common myths concerning volunteers. The first, that there is a shortage of potential volunteers, is a key point for volunteer managers looking to build and improve a nonprofit’s volunteer program.
People have an intrinsic need to give our time, our skills, and our passion, says Ms. Fader. The problem is that nonprofits are not adequately tapping into this vast resource of altruism. We need to actually ask people to volunteer – and to make sure they feel comfortable doing so.
Ms. Fader spends the rest of her book, which was published by Atlantic Publishing Group in March, 2010, providing practical, real-life advice for how to do just that. She writes from her own considerable knowledge of volunteer management, after spending a major part of her professional and personal life involved with nonprofits. She also gathered dozens of success and failure stories from actual nonprofit volunteer professionals (including VolunteerMatch).
The result is a readable, practical guide that provides such gems as a “Sample Recruitment Budget Form,” an “Interviewer’s Tool Kit,” and “Tips for Mediating Employee-Volunteer Conflicts.”
Who doesn’t need these tools? “365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating, and Rewarding Your Volunteers” is a great reference, a guide that you can consult every day if you need it. And by following Ms. Fader’s expertise, every day you’ll make your volunteer program better.
Additional note: the folks at Atlantic Publishing Group are donating a portion of the book’s profits to the Humane Society of the United States, in honor of their dog who just passed away. It’s always nice when you can increase your knowledge, improve your volunteer program, and help support a nonprofit all at once.