Clear targets, flexible opportunities and equality of treatment are major keys for non-profit organisations seeking to excel in the engagement and management of volunteers.

Match this with an awareness of the increasing role of social networking in volunteer recruitment, the differing motivations of volunteers and the rise of corporate volunteering, and an organisation can aspire to a large, healthy volunteer workforce.

And if you think hard economic times will reduce volunteerism, think again. It may just lead to an increase as people give their ‘talent and time’ in place of their ‘treasure’.

Volunteering Australia chief executive officer, Cary Pedicini, as spokesperson for Australia’s peak volunteering organisation, is a passionate yet practical advocate of the role of volunteers in Australian society.

“Organisations that are most successful are those that clearly target what they want volunteers for, they will look for specialist skills or types of volunteers that they want rather than advertising generally, Mr Pedicini said.

“Typically, a lot of effort goes into recruiting and inducting volunteers, recognising, rewarding, and up-skilling. Also, understanding that the motivation of volunteers varies considerably is important.”

Mr Pedicini said many volunteers are purely altruistic in motivation and are seeking to make life better for others.

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First published in Fundraising Success magazine

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