If you’ve ever run or worked on a campaign, been a candidate for office, or just pretty much been involved in politics in almost any capacity, you’ve seen how important volunteers are to political success.
And you’ve no doubt noticed that all volunteers are not created equal. Some are worth more than others, some better than others, or some are just better at certain things than others.
So what makes for great volunteers?
There are at least four qualities that stand out as the marks of really great volunteers. Of course, few have them all, but they’re a standard you should reach for when trying to find people to help – or if you’re thinking about volunteering yourself.
Four Top Qualities of Great Volunteers
1) A commitment to the cause
Do they believe in the campaign? The level of commitment from the people involved in any effort is usually the greatest contributing factor to success or failure.
No matter how desperate a campaign may be for help, if “the help” doesn’t really believe in the cause, then you’re really not going to get much out of them and they’re not going to help you motivate other people.
2) A willingness to sacrifice
Great volunteerism is based on sacrifice. But good volunteers don’t think of it as sacrifice, but rather as an investment in the things that they care about.
That’s why you’re going to get more support from people who really believe in the cause to begin with.
3) A sense of humility
Who wants to hang around someone who thinks that they’re “too good” to be there? The type of person who lets everyone else know they should feel “blessed” that they’re around. They will be less “help” and more “hurt”, in the sense that they can run off people who actually do want to help.
A good volunteer is someone who is able to set aside their ego in deference to the cause that they’re involved with. Pride and volunteering don’t go well together.
4) A positive attitude
Attitudes are infectious, (both good and bad). And since nobody wants to work around people with “jerky” attitudes, this is another type of person who can quickly run off the real help.
Good volunteers maintain a positive attitude that encourages others to keep going regardless of circumstances.
Even though any political effort is usually extremely grateful for any volunteers that it gets, these are some of the qualities of great volunteers that you should keep in mind when looking for people to help your cause.
Run down the checklist. How do you or your volunteers stack up?
Over the long run, it can actually pay to be picky.
You can find out more tips on volunteers and volunteer management in my Grassroots 101 Training Series. Check it out!