Tips for Engaging Youths as Volunteers
How can you capture the energy of youth, while giving a young person a leg up on their future? Volunteer Centers of Washington can help you, with formal youth programs, connections to non-profits that engage youth volunteers, templates, ideas, and advice. Speaking of advice...
- Make it fun! Make a game out of tedious tasks, with even a simple prize (most kid’s books collected? First to finish addressing 100 envelopes?) Or, let them help design a contest.
- Be clear with your instructions. Young people just haven’t had as much experience as adults, and what seems obvious to you might not be. Leave written instructions and examples. Let them try a dry run.
- Find tasks that can be done in a day. Young people’s schedules are erratic, with changing sports games, school projects, and family responsibilities.
- Help with transportation. Maybe some of your adult volunteers can sign up to help get non-drivers where you need them. Have carpool sign-ups. Or partner with an agency that has a van.
- Give them responsibility. If you need folders collated, let them decide what system works best. Let youth work together to design projects. Even put a youth representative on your board!
To download more advice on working with young volunteers:
For a presentation on managing youth volunteers: