Our Passions Give us Purpose

People volunteer for associations to contribute to a cause that directly impacts their community. It is their passion to impact the world in a way that will improve it for themselves and those in their family, community, city, province, or country.

Volunteers are motivated by the personal and professional benefits of their efforts.

Personal Benefits include:

  • Satisfaction of helping others
  • Social experiences
  • Meet new friends who share your passions
  • Improved connection to your community
  • Improve your personal environment
  • Build confidence
  • Improve your public speaking skills
  • Recognition
  • Discounts
  • Physical exercise
  • Sense of purpose

Professional Benefits include:

  • Connect with new potential clients
  • Discover business opportunities
  • Shape your industry
  • Collaborate to improve public perception
  • Learn new marketable skills
  • Gain status in your industry
  • Connect with potential employers
  • Resume experience
  • Free Training sessions
  • Earn professional education credits

Assembling Your Dream Team

The volunteer base of your association will be a broad range of stakeholders. These people could be business owners, employees, instructors, or consumers in your area of focus. It is important to be inclusive of all ages, genders, sexual orientations, languages, visible minorities, disabilities, religions, ethnicities, and socio-economic statuses when recruiting and appointing members to positions within your governance structure. Diversity in your directors, councillors, committee members, and taskforce appointees will ensure your initiatives serve all association members as well as the public at large. All volunteer members have a stake in the services, products, and experiences provided by your association. Additionally diverse pool of volunteers strengthens the resources and skills your association has at its disposal while pursuing improvement initiatives. It also broadens the range of perspectives that influence decisions that will impact the members of your association.

There’s Always Room for One More

Your volunteers are the crew in your boat that generates the momentum to push your association’s initiatives forward. When everyone is rowing to the same rhythm, the association can then push forward and serve all its members. Nominating members into the right roles can make a big difference in accomplishing your associations vision and mission. Associations often send out open calls to fill roles, but most often recruitment is most successful through personal relationships with other potential volunteers. Delegation of responsibilities can reduce volunteer burnout and engage your membership to feel validated as active contributors to the association. Consider committee options that fit the skills and passions of your volunteers such as:

  • Public Outreach
  • Events
  • Conferences
  • Professional development
  • Policy and Bylaw
  • Internal Governance
  • Contest and awards
  • Student and Early Professional
  • Professional Standards
  • Accreditation review
  • Nominations
  • Sponsorship
  • Translation
  • Communications
  • Ethics, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Complaints and Inquiry

Its crucial to correctly define committees that fit your associations needs and regularly review your volunteer roster. Its important the board of directors maintain a strong dialogue with committees through regularly scheduled reports. Furthermore, this ensures volunteers have the resources required to accomplish their projects.

Time to Spare

When recruiting volunteers, defining time commitments is key. High functioning professionals always come to mind when brainstorming nominations for a role, but they also have busy schedules, and you need volunteers with time to spare. They may have the right skills and the right attitude, but if meetings and event times cannot fit their schedule it will not work. Sometimes the best volunteer is a member who has not yet had the opportunity to contribute. Recruiting new volunteers is a great way to make new connections. It can also help identify members actively looking for a way to maximize their association membership benefits.

Get it Done and Have Fun

Ensure that you select meeting spaces, event spaces, or online platforms that can allow your volunteers to connect in a way that facilitates meaningful discussion, engagement, progression, and fun. Potential locations could include:

In Person:

  • Convention centre
  • Board room
  • Community centre
  • A Members business
  • Restaurant
  • Hotel
  • Park
  • Theme Park
  • Escape room
  • Sports game


  • Zoom
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Google meet
  • YouTube live stream
  • Facebook live stream
  • Twitch live stream
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Instagram

You Do Not Build Relationships in a Day

Its important to validate volunteers for their efforts. This can be achieved through recognition in many forms. The value of a simple thanks for a job well done goes a long way. Its essential to remember to thank everyone for their contributions no matter how small. This helps create positive experiences for your volunteers. Sending appreciation emails, notes, or letters is also a great way to let your volunteers know you trust them and respect their contributions.  Formal public recognitions are also always important. These acknowledgments can be delivered by publicly administering awards, certificates, and plaques, to honour the commitments of your volunteers at live events. This helps confirm them as respected members of their association community.

Find the Passion in Your Role

Working with volunteers can sometimes feel challenging, but by connecting with your volunteer’s passion you can positively impact your associations community. Above all, finding the right people whos passions align with your vision and mission is the key to motivating your volunteer members to succeed in accomplishing their goals.