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Leader's Insight: What Volunteers Want

5 ways to make their service worthwhile.

Like many volunteers, I spend most of my week in the marketplace, pleasing several masters: bosses, customers, employees. Those stakeholders have values different from mine. If my workday thoughts appeared in over my head in a cartoon bubble, you would read, "I can't wait to do something that really matters with people I love and with whom I share a common cause."

If you are looking for volunteers, you should be salivating as you read those thoughts. People with those thoughts are ripe for volunteer work, on a few conditions.

1. Give me a clear, compelling purpose.

Happy volunteers are crystal clear on their ministry's purpose. They can tell you not only why their group exists, but also why that cause is important. For an important cause, they will give selflessly, and thank you for it.

As Andy Stanley said recently in a talk on vision, volunteers want answers to three big questions: (1) What is the problem? (2) What is the solution? (3) Why are we the ones to solve it now? Answer those questions ...

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