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Why Charity Organizations Need More Volunteer?

Jun 2, 2008
Most charity organizations in Malaysia need funds more than anything else. They may need donations of cash more than volunteers or food or clothes. They need to raise funds very often. But volunteers can be a great help at times. An extra pair of hands should always be welcome and here is how you can attract more helpers for your charity.

People who have a heart for the work your organization may be eager to volunteer, but end up disappointed if they find the experience is less than they hoped it would be.

Here are some tips to help your non profit attract and keep volunteers:

1. Before you recruit help, get a clear picture of what you want them to accomplish. Be specific so you do not end up with willing volunteers who have nothing to do. Volunteers in Malaysia do have a busy life themselves and it really takes some sacrifice for them to help you.

It would be much easier if they just donate funds to you. If they end up sitting around or looking for tasks to do, they may decide you do not really need them after all.

2. Once you know what you need people to accomplish, gather whatever supplies they will need. Brainstorm with another staff member to make a list of supplies, space, and utilities required. For example, to complete their tasks will they need an available electrical outlet or easy access to running water?

3. When volunteers come for the first time, give them a tour of the facilities. Introduce them to key staff and other volunteers, and show them where to put their coats and purses and where the bathrooms and break rooms are.

4. Set expectations and be clear about them. Most people who wish to volunteer do so because they sincerely want to contribute. Write up some guidelines if the tasks require it. And let them know what you need them to accomplish and when.

5. Set time parameters. Chances are your volunteers have busy lives and though they wish to give you some of their time, they are more likely to want to help if they can count on being done at a specific hour. Not many people want an open ended commitment. Plus you can schedule your staff better if you know what help can be expected.

6. Provide training. Even if the task is simple, have someone available to answer questions and demonstrate if necessary. Whenever a volunteer is on your premises someone should be available as a go to person for them.

7. Coordinate with your staff so they know which of them the go to person of the day is. Remember, the staff member you assign should have good people skills. Many employees, who have never supervised, let it go to their heads and get pushy with volunteer help.

Diplomatically remind the staff how important volunteer help is, how hard it is to recruit them, and how easy it is to lose them.

8. Do not abandon your helpers. This may sound like common sense, but it does happen. At one non profit, a staff member rounded up a few volunteers to help paint a large private office. The keyword in that sentence was help. The volunteers were eager to get to work.

But once they were in full swing the employee excused herself, saying she had personal shopping to do. The volunteers finished the job and cleaned up afterwards, but never returned.

9. Show appreciation. Take advantage of opportunities to let your volunteers know how they are appreciated, like sending a thank you card, maybe an occasional lunch. Some organizations schedule volunteer appreciation days just to thank volunteers with a cake and maybe pizza if funds permit.

The above tips should be useful for helping charity organizations in Malaysia recruit and retain volunteer helpers, especially for children homes and old folks homes.
About the Author
Francis Suggest Charity Malaysiais the No.1 Malaysia's Fund Raising Portal in Malaysia. The leading charity organization in Malaysia. Visit http://www.charitymalaysia.com
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