Why involve volunteers?
There are many, many organizations and online resources to encourage people to volunteer, and lots of materials that answer the question “Why volunteer?” But what are the benefits from an organization’s point of view? Why involve volunteers and why value volunteers? Volunteers help your organization to meet its mission and better serve the community.
- How do they do this? – They demonstrate community investment and endorsement; hosting a volunteer is a good way to show that your organization is valued by the community.
- Some beneficiaries prefer working with volunteers. For instance, some youth in the criminal justice system respond better to volunteers than they do to paid staff brought in to support them – in their view, the volunteer is there because he or she “wants” to be, while the staff person is there because he or she “has” to be. To address such perception issues, many organizations involve volunteers.
- Volunteers can help you reach new audiences – Volunteers have connections through their work and social circles, and can become informal ambassadors on behalf of your organization to these colleagues and friends.
- Volunteers can turn into staff – When a staff vacancy or new position is created, volunteers are a pool of people already oriented to your organization’s culture and mission that you may be able to tap.