Volunteers are fundamental for nonprofit and history organizations, and Terri Blanchette’s article on trends in volunteering is essential reading for those who want to understand why people volunteer, which people volunteer, and how to get them to volunteer for your project.
Drawing from a wide range of studies and statistical analyses, Terri points out that while diverse groups consistently volunteer for the cause of their choice, they do so for different reasons. Understanding these motivations can help you tap into potential volunteer networks and engage new people with your organization. Case studies of award-winning volunteer projects from the Newport Restoration Foundation and the Ohio Village Timeshare Project help illustrate how understanding your volunteer base can lead to amazing projects with dedicated participants.
As historical organizations look to the future, it is imperative that they give as much deliberate consideration to engaging their volunteers as they have given to engaging their audiences in the past.