It can feel like a daunting task to have to get a team together. I’ve been there a few times myself, thinking - ‘how am I going to get a team together for this?!’ But there are many things that you can do to build a great volunteer team of people who are motivated, excited and who want to do their best for the team and the task at hand.
'People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.’ Simon Sinek.
In order for people to buy into your opportunity, they need to get why you are doing it and why they should give up their time to do it. It’s good to consider both who they will be helping and also what impact it will have on them personally. If someone buys into the idea of why you are doing something, then they will find a way to make it work. They will be more likely to come to you and say, “I need to be part of this!"
There is so much power in passion! If you are enthusiastic about the cause, then others are likely to pick up on this and be attracted to it. Even those who have never thought or heard about what you are doing will be more likely to listen and pay attention if they hear you are enthusiastic about it! People want time they give up to be worth it, and if they can catch some passion for it, they will be motivated to join you.
When people feel appreciated it’s a joy to go above and beyond. They will feel like their time is worth it. They will feel a sense of belonging. Your team will thrive as they feel seen and valued. They won’t be getting paid, but showing ways of appreciation will do a lot for your team and help others to want to be part of what’s going on too. You could hold an annual appreciation dinner or event to thank volunteer teams. Volunteers put a lot in and being thankful will go a long way.
Don’t let inexperience put people off. Offer training off the bat and show them that you value who they are and want to help grow them as individuals. It also shows you are organised and have thought things through which is reassuring to those thinking about jumping in.
Remember that people around you won’t be living and breathing your opportunity in the same way as you do, so sharing the vision, where you are going and how you’ll get there is really important to get on people’s radar and spark their imagination. Different ways of communication will attract different people, so think of different ways of saying the same thing. You might do an announcement at a gathering, you might send an email, you could make a video or even start your own flash mob!
Sometimes no matter how convincing and resonating the opportunity you have is, no matter how crafted and skilled you have been at sharing, some people just want to be asked! Nothing beats being seen and personally spoken to to suggest the idea, to make them see how you see they could make a difference and why you want them on your team. You can be as creative as you like, just a casual conversation, writing a personalised card or creating an event to share more and inviting a few personally chosen people.
Have fun building your team and making a difference together!