Building a Mission-Driven Team

Communities are like living organisms — constantly growing, evolving, and trying to survive. People identify with these living, breathing communities. They’re also self-organizing, and each community has its own set of morals and issues they feel strongly about. Can you think of communities that you’re a part of? Your neighborhood? A book club? Sharing a love for a particular sports teams? What about your non-profit?

How do you break into a community, and make your mission as a volunteer coordinator/organization THEIR mission?


The first step, believe it or not, is to make sure you have a clear, well-articulated mission. Common mistakes are making mission statements that are too long, full of big words, and ultimately not easy for people to align themselves with. We really like the general formula of:

  • Our Cause (Who? What? Where?)
  • Our Actions (What we do; How?)
  • Our Impact (Changes for the better)


For instance, this great example from Nonprofit Hub is clear and to-the-point: “We’re a nonprofit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries.”

  • The cause (Who?): People in developing countries
  • The actions: Bringing clean, safe drinking water
  • The impact: Clean, safe drinking water


Next — share it! Make sure your mission is out there for the world to see. Use social media, your website, and ground troops to put your cause out in front of those who might want to join our community. Pro-tip: have an easy way for interested volunteers to get involved immediately. If you catch someone’s attention, you want to capitalize it!


Finally, keep your community alive and well.


Your mission is what brought your community together, so it must be nurtured to survive.


Make sure your community stays centered and true to what brought it together in the first place, and don’t be afraid to shed members who no longer fit in with the group. Have you been in a group or organization where one toxic individual completely brought everyone else down? Don’t let this happen! :) Building a strong, vibrant community takes time and effort but it’s well worth it in the long run!



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The Simple Secret To Recruiting Better Volunteers



“Volunteers wanted!” How many times have you received an e-mail or walked past a sign with that written on it? If you’re like most people, the answer is: a lot. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with the message, it’s lacking a key ingredient that can tremendously help the quality and quantity of your volunteers.  What is it, you ask?


Here’s the secret: Be specific!


Companies are constantly vying for your attention, time, or dollars. If they all said the same thing, how would you know which to choose? Instead, businesses use specific marketing messages to try and convince you that Pepsi is better than Coke, or Toyota is safer than Honda. If you’re a volunteer coordinator trying to recruit volunteers, we recommend utilizing the same approach.


Stand out from the other nonprofits looking for volunteers by being specific about the jobs that need to be filled. The first step is to identify what types of skills are needed for each volunteer position, and then what type of person would best fill it. For example, maybe you’re looking for help with social media. Why not target high school groups to see if they need volunteer hours filled for school? Looking for volunteers to help outdoors with greenery? Go to your local community garden or co-op to hang flyers and find people passionate about composting or recycling.


This approach may take more time and thought, but we believe the benefits definitely outweigh the costs.  Being specific with your asks will ensure that you find volunteers that not only have the qualifications for the role, but also the passion to go along with it!


We’d love to hear from you! Do you create specific positions and target groups that have those interests and/or skills or do you go with the general approach?


P.S., if you’re worried that managing volunteers in numerous roles will be difficult, that’s exactly why we built VolunteerLocal. You can learn more here.





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