How to encourage others to make a difference
The phrase, “there is strength in numbers” is especially true when you’re talking about the power to make a difference in your community and around the world. The efforts of just one person can still change lives and make a positive impact for years to come, but when a group bands together in support of a cause, that united front can truly move mountains.
The trick is, of course, getting all those potential mountain movers interested enough in your cause to motivate them to act.
If you have a pet cause or see a need in your community and want to encourage others to help you make a difference, consider these practical ways to attract and retain volunteers:
- Reach out to friends and family. The people you already know are the most likely candidates to step up and help out. Explain your cause, talk about your goals and ask if they would consider helping out. If they are interested, find out how much time they are willing and able to commit, and if they want to be a participant or an organizer.
- Have clear goals. If you want to create a group that donates handmade chemo caps to cancer patients, for example, let potential volunteers know things like:
- How often your group will be meeting
- What, if any, financial obligations they will have (for example, supplying their own yarn and other materials)
- How many hats you expect them to contribute
- Where you plan to donate your hats
Knowing exactly what’s expected of them will help potential new volunteers determine if they are a good fit for your group, so be as organized as possible before you even reach out to ask for help.
- Keep everyone informed. Create a website using Weebly.com or another free web hosting site, or create a private group on Facebook. Share updates, photos and other information to help keep your group motivated and informed. This is also a good way to share practical information like dates and times of events and meetings.
- Motivate your helpers. Offer small, simple incentives to keep your team motivated and eager to continue working with you. It might be as simple as creating a “volunteer of the month” award for someone who has gone above and beyond using free online templates from sites like 1-2-3 Certificates, or sharing stories about the ways your charitable work is impacting the community on social media, giving credit to your team of volunteers. Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and it’s essential for keeping people motivated and eager to help.
- Say thank you. Your volunteers are taking time out of their busy lives to help you reach your goal, so make sure to thank them sincerely and regularly for all the good work they’re doing.
Humans crave community and connection, and we also take great satisfaction from doing good things for others. You can be the person who brings like-minded people together to work for a common good and change the lives of people in your community and around the world.
But remember, this doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment for you either. Perhaps you simply want to organize a food drive, or a hygiene-kit event to fill a specific, one-time need in your community. Whatever the case, remember that Foresters can help. As a member, you can apply online for a Foresters Community Grant so you can organize volunteer and fun family activities that are meaningful to you and your local community.
Just visit MyForesters.com for more information and to apply for a grant to help you make the change you want to see in the world.
416770C CAN/US (11/18)