Volunteers are individuals, which means it is helpful to consider their experience at the subjective level. However, they are also subject to collective influences of their group affiliations and the larger systems in which they serve. Therefore, the quadrant below examines each of these elements as they apply to a volunteer.
|Subjective volunteer qualities
||Objective volunteer qualities
- Personal volunteer history
- Motivation to serve
- Cause/mission desired
- Connection to cause/mission/population
- Level of structure/training/ supervision desired
- Volunteer role desired
- Skills and talents
- Languages spoken
- Ability to pay for training/background check
|Cultural influences on volunteer
||Host organization systems
- Views about volunteering & what counts as service
- Value placed on volunteering
- Group affiliations (ethnic/social/educational)
- Religious/political/professional drivers
- Relationship with authority
- Preferences for autonomy/connection
- Background check
- Age requirements
- Length of commitment required
- Training & skills required
Questions for practical application
- What is the volunteer prospect’s familiarity with what they want from a volunteer experience and what they have to offer?
- How can volunteer prospects gain awareness of and insight into these quadrants so they can refine their search for service opportunities?
- How can our organization elicit this information as part of the application/interview process to identify if the volunteer prospect is a good organizational fit and where the prospect might be best suited to serve?