A pile of snapshots showing diverse volunteers at work in their communities

Get more volunteer help with small steps

What’s the best way to get volunteers to take lots of required training or complete an intensive commitment? Help them take small steps.

Take a large volunteering goal:

  • Complete 200 hours within a year

Break it into easier subgoals:

  • Do 4 hours this week

And make it flexible for them:

  • Do 8 hours in the next 2 weeks

It’s the same goal! But wording it differently made a big difference in how volunteers reacted to it.

People who received flexible subgoals like these volunteered around 7% more than the people given only the big annual goal. You can read more detail from the research team in Scientific American.

We know the Idea Friendly Method (like Take Small Steps) works not only because of research like this, but also because you keep telling us it works in your communities.

Finding long term volunteers or needing intensive commitments was one of the audience questions when we joined Radically Rural’s Roundtable for Finding More Volunteers. You can watch the recording; it takes about an hour.

If you’d like to break that down into a smaller subgoal, we made a 12 minute version that you can watch as a video or listen to like a podcast. You can learn more about that here Find More Volunteers – SaveYour.Town. It’s flexible, too, because you can choose whether or not to watch the 2 optional bonus clips:

  • working with “set in their ways” volunteers and
  • more ways to make intensive volunteer assignments workable

Keep shaping a better future for your town,