FlakyFilter: How To Get No-Show Volunteers To Show Up?
March 17, 2014 2:34 PM Subscribe
I recently started organizing volunteer orientations for a local charity. These orientations take place at long-time volunteers' homes over dinner and require quite a bit of prep work by the hosts. They are optional orientations - i.e., for newcomers who have expressed interest in a more active role with the nonprofit. So far, about 30% of the new people who RSVP 'yes' are complete no-shows. How can I reduce this amount, AND how can I not feel pissed off at people who cancel with no or little notice? Snowflakery inside...
posted by rogerrogerwhatsyourrvectorvicto to Human Relations (20 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
- Again, these orientations are TOTALLY OPTIONAL. So the people who have RSVPed have elected to say "yes" proactively.
- Most of the cancel-ees are in their 20's and 30's, with no kids. Volunteers 40+ usually come, or cancel a long time in advance. [I obviously understand when parents with kids cancel last-minute and don't consider that part of this issue.]
- Folks are signing up by email and/or in person. There doesn't seem to be much difference in the rate of cancellations by either method.
- I'm reminding people a couple days prior by email or text. I don't like calling to remind b/c I feel it's too invasive.
- If the people who cancel do let me know, it's usually for a very casual reason (i.e. "I lost track of time") and there is no apology for inconveniencing the hosts, who have prepared a presentation about the charity, cooked food, opened their homes, etc.
- Some people don't even say they aren't showing up.
Full disclosure: I went through a VERY flaky, inconsiderate time in my 20's (this is probably karma coming back to bite me in the butt). It had a lot to do with social anxiety and an inability to say 'no' to people's faces. I have been there and I know that things come up.
Any ideas on how to encourage a higher rate of participation, AND how to not get discouraged/frustrated when people cancel?