May 25, 2024

Setting Your Intention

Setting Your Intention - Non Profit Consulting and Training - Wendy Biro-Pollard
I’ve been in the volunteer engagement business for a long time.  And, the one question that I’m most often asked is, “How do we get more volunteers and members?”

You don’t have to search too far to find volunteer management models and program audits.  Engaging in these processes is essential for creating a robust volunteer program that can build capacity and set you on the road to success.   Most experts will tell you to align your program with the organization’s mission and vision statement.  Others will encourage you to create a volunteer or member engagement philosophy statement.

And, I would add one more step—set your intention.   In other words, create a vision, direct your mind and aim for success! 

When you pay attention to problems, you amplify them.  You get more problems! Instead of saying, we don’t have enough volunteers or members; focus on what’s going well.  Take an inventory of what’s already working.

When you concentrate on what’s working, you become more confident.  This shift in focus leads to more hopeful images about what can be possible in the future.  When you get excited and inspired, you will create bigger and better results and more of who you need.

So, let’s imagine that you woke up today to discover that a miracle has happened overnight and you now have the volunteer program or membership association of your dreams.  There are now enough individuals to meet the needs of your organization and its constituents and members.  Volunteers and members are productive and engaged and accomplishing great things.  Their skills and talents are appreciated by your staff and board and funders.  How does that feel?  What had to change to get you there?

It’s never too late to set your intention about finding more people to join your organization.  By setting an intention, you make it clear to yourself and others just what you plan to accomplish.

So let’s get to work:

  1. Think about how many volunteers or members you want, what skills you need, where they will be assigned and write it down.  Writing down your goals forces clarity and is proven to be more effective.
  2. Share your intention with your colleagues or team members.    Set timelines and ask them to hold you accountable.
  3. Do something today to demonstrate your commitment to finding more volunteers or members—optimize your website, write and distribute press releases, network.  You get the idea!
  4. Acknowledge that you took action—that you did what you said you would.  Update your personal network.  Reward yourself.
  5. And then, take the next step.  And the next step. And watch for positive results.


Related posts:  Some of the principles in this article are based on the Appreciative Inquiry model.  See:  What is Appreciative Inquiry?

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