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Encourage volunteerism

From the Common Ground Country Fair – a shining example of volunteerism – Craig explains three key ingredients for getting and keeping volunteers.

A special shout-out to Adi who volunteered to hold the camera!

This video has captions. To see them, click CC on the video screen.

Here’s what Craig says in the video

Hi everybody. Hey it’s Craig Freshley here. I am at the Common Ground Country Fair. It’s sponsored by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The Common Ground Fair relies on over 2,000 volunteers to pull this off every year and I want to talk for just a moment about volunteerism.

If you want a lot of volunteers — whether it’s to get stuff done like many of the folks here on the fairgrounds or to serve on a Board of Directors — you need three things.

First of all, you need a really good and clear compelling cause. People don’t want to join a committee, people want to join a cause. People don’t want to work just to work. People want to contribute to a higher calling. So you’ve got to be able to articulate that and it’s got to be compelling.

Number two: Volunteerism needs to be well coordinated. A volunteer coordinator, or a small army of volunteer coordinators, works really well. Everybody needs to know exactly what their job is.

Number three: Volunteers need to be thanked and appreciated. It’s nice to do something just for the cause but it’s also really great to get that letter, to get that thanks, to be shown that appreciation no matter how small the job was or how well you did it.

Compelling volunteers is a key ingredient to making good group decisions, and pulling stuff off in groups like the Common Ground Country Fair.

Thanks for listening everybody. I hope you help your group make good decisions out there.

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