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Finding opportunities to up-cycle

When a volunteer has completed their current project or role, it’s an opportune moment to meet with one’s mentor and/or review the Learning Map, including learning goals and motivations for being an AFS volunteer. There may be a traditional role the volunteer would like to try. It might also be time to advance to the Playground stage to develop a new project/role within AFS!

This can also be an opportunity for up-cycling: moving from an active to an inactive volunteer role, but still contributing meaningfully to the organization. Examples include, but are not limited to: board member, donor, researcher or promotor.

Check out the below video as Daniel Obst, president and CEO of AFS interview Maria Maione, an AFS Italy Volunteer:

Motivational Drivers of Engaged Volunteers

Five main motivational drivers have been identified in volunteers who stay engaged with AFS over the long-term, either as active volunteers or in another capacity:

Task Achievement Driver

An intrinsic interest in the task combined with organizational aspects such as autonomy and flexibility drives motivation.

Relational Driver

Long lasting friendships and a developed sense of identity and community plays a strong role.

Skills Development Driver

Opportunities for professional development play a significant role.

 Self-Rewarding Driver

The opportunity of doing altruistic deeds and being recognized increases self-esteem.

 Impact and Influence Driver

The need to have a clear change and impact proposition combined with the power to influence at the organizational, personal and beneficiary level.

Steps to Consider

When looking for ways to reengage volunteers consider the following:

  • Are there ways volunteers can renew their AFS volunteer roles?
  • What systems do you have any place for volunteers seeking alternative ways to be involved with AFS that might not include volunteering in the traditional sense?
  • What types of roles can we offer volunteers who no longer have time to volunteer but want to stay involved with AFS?