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According the 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics’ report on Volunteering in the United States, the volunteer rate has been the lowest since 2002. A nonprofit organization’s volunteers most important asset is in severe decline. Do we need to rethink the volunteer job description to attract high quality individuals?

The development of a volunteer job description is best practice and helps define the role succinctly. An essential element missing in most volunteer job descriptions is the “what is in it for me” factor. The following are questions and statements that can be addressed and added to the job description to personalize it more to the volunteer’s needs:  

How can this position build more friendships/relationships? – Describing the opportunities to meet new people, build new networks and friendships helps a potential volunteer visualize a rewarding experience

What professional need does it fulfill? – This is a great place to detail how the volunteer position will enhance their professional skills (i.e. delegation, leadership, project management, etc.)

Describe the deliverable at the end of the project  – What will the volunteer accomplish at the end of the project or appointment. A sense of accomplishment is one of the top three reasons for volunteering

By appealing to a volunteer’s reason for serving more clearly in the job description, we are painting a personal picture of the experience and its rewards. Transform your volunteer job description to a volunteer job experience!