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  • 1.  7 Characteristics in Great Volunteers

    Posted 11-15-2021 10:56
    I came across an article that claims that every great volunteer has 7 characteristics in common: 
    1. A fearless approach
    2. Infinite patience
    3. Ability to think clearly
    4. Eager to take initiative
    5. Stay humble 
    6. Driven by passion
    7. Ability to work in teams
    This seems like... a lot to have all at once! 
    If you've ever organized an event with volunteers before, what's the most important characteristic you look for or hope for in your volunteers?

    Stay awesome,

  • 2.  RE: 7 Characteristics in Great Volunteers

    Posted 11-15-2021 12:09
    @Quinn Drew, wow, yes!  Those are *a lot* of  qualities to have in one person, which I guess is why they all add up to a "great" volunteer!  Greatness is a wonderful thing, but there's a lot to be said for being just plain good. 

    To that end: When I've organized an event or project, the quality I most appreciate in a volunteer is reliability. Things can fall apart really fast when someone lets you down, whether that's not showing up or promising more than they can deliver.  (Can you tell I've been burned?!)  The 7 qualities listed in this article are highly impressive, but it's good enough for me when volunteers are reliable and cooperative. 

    Maria Mooshil

  • 3.  RE: 7 Characteristics in Great Volunteers

    Posted 11-15-2021 12:58
    @Maria Mooshil - I literally just said, "hell yeah!" aloud when I read "but there's a lot to be said for being just plain good." Thanks for that. :)

    Stay awesome,

  • 4.  RE: 7 Characteristics in Great Volunteers

    Posted 11-18-2021 09:38
    @Maria Mooshil I 100% agree with reliability. I try to be very cognizant of not biting off more than I can chew in order to not let people down. It's hard to hold people accountable when they are volunteering because you don't have much leverage in terms of discipline/punishment and then you end up being the one in a tough situation. I feel your pain!

    That's already a huge list of very important characteristics, but I would add two more: FLEXIBILITY and POSITIVITY.  Things change on the spot and you need someone who can roll with the punches to help you achieve the goal​ without complaining. You need to have that "can do" attitude.

    I actually sort of disagree with the first proposed characteristic of having "a fearless approach". I think you can be both a great volunteer and still be worried about how you are approaching an opportunity.  I think it helps to have that doubt in your mind to plan for unknown situations and be fully prepared. The authors equate fearlessness with bravery and putting others first. I don't think you need to be fearless or brave to be a great volunteer, but I do think you need to understand that it's not about you which I think is more clearly explained in #5 be humble.​

    Alison Randall