The Top Reasons People Don't Volunteer

The top reasons why people don’t volunteer (and what you can do about it)

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, 24.9% of Americans volunteer (62.6 million), putting in a total of 7.8 billion hours annually. This percentage has been on the decline nationally over the past decade, but that doesn’t mean that your organization’s volunteer rate has to follow suit. We’ve identified the top reasons why people don’t volunteer and the actions you can take to create an environment that makes then want to get involved.

“I don’t have enough time”

Solution: Most Americans feel that they don’t have enough time, so it’s important to highlight your cause and the difference that volunteers can make. Strive to fuel their passion. We all find it easier to make time for something we really care about.

“I’ve had a bad experience in the past”

Solution: Create a welcoming environment where expectations are clearly laid out, volunteers are matched with a mentor, and skill sets are identified and put to good use. A comprehensive volunteer orientation is a great way to get your new volunteers started on the right note.

“I haven’t been asked”

Solution: This may seem like a silly excuse, but it’s a very common feeling among Americans. People get the false impression that the organization doesn’t need them or want them if they haven’t been asked. Know someone who would be the perfect fit for a positon? Don’t be afraid to reach out. Additionally, post volunteer opportunities online and on social media to make your organization inviting to a wider audience.

“I don’t need another commitment right now”

Solution: Make volunteer opportunities more accessible by offering various schedules, commitment levels, and time frames.

“I inquired about an opportunity, but never heard back”

Solution: There is nothing worse than missing a critical opportunity with a willing participant. Make it a priority to get back to prospective volunteers as soon as possible. Double check all phone numbers and email addresses listed for your organization to make sure they are accurate and that requests aren’t getting lost along the way.

With a comprehensive volunteer management system like Offero, you’ll have more time and energy to focus on volunteer recruitment. Learn more about Offero by visiting


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