Show, don’t tell potential volunteers why they should get involved.

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One of the first mantras I learned in the various writing classes I’ve taken over the years is “show, don’t tell.” This mantra can just as easily be applied to the challenge many chapters face when it comes to filling volunteer positions. While chapters are quick to tout the advantages of volunteering to the individual (i.e., networking, building of skills, feelings of accomplishment), they are often negligent in really showing the positive outcomes of volunteering – what it means to the organization.

All this takes me back to a previous posting by Peggy, Is this missing in your call for volunteers? The post may be 6 years old, but the message is still relevant. Chapters need to stop “telling” potential volunteers why they should sign up, and instead, start “showing” them through stories, pictures, events, etc. of how volunteering has bettered the organization. And with the StoryCorps National Day of Listening coming up on November 29, it’s the perfect opportunity to begin.

Not sure how to do it? Check out Peggy’s most recent post on using YouTube as a way to tell your story. Or go to StoryCorps National Day of Listening.

And be sure to read these posts tackling volunteer engagement…

Walking the Walk of Deep Volunteer Engagement
Let’s Make Some Noise
How did you say Thank You?

Mariner Management & Marketing provides association management, volunteer coordinator and leadership development information for associations and non-profit organizations.