5 Essential Leadership Traits You Need Running a Volunteering Project

5 Essential Leadership Traits You Need Running a Volunteering Project

By Justine Simonin on 10/09/2020

Written by Melanie Sovann, a writer, editor, and proofreader whose writing experience includes a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from technology to sociology. Melanie is always thriving to expand her interests and learn new things. Aside from being a freelance writer, Melanie also works for essay writing company EssaySupply.

If you want to lead a meaningful volunteering project, there are some traits that are crucial for this position. Forget about the stories of how you need to be born a leader. The shoe will fit if you work on traits that leaders must have.

The foundation of making a good leader out of yourself is identifying those key traits. The following list of essential leadership traits will help you with that mission.


Every volunteering project has a goal. For your project to be a success, you have to be very specific about the goals you want to accomplish.

Your goals have to be very detailed to keep you and your team going in the right direction. Let’s say that you want to spread awareness about your volunteering project. Stating “getting more people to hear about our project” won’t keep your team’s eyes on the prize.

Be specific like “increasing traffic on our project’s website through digital marketing.” A true leader needs to know how to present to the team what they are after.

Define your vision and share it with others. Let the wise words of Theodore Hesburgh, a priest, educator, and public service worker inspire you:

The very essence of leadership is that you have to have a vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”


Project managers need to have their ducks in a row. You are the one who will be juggling all the different parts of the project. Do your best to stay organized by keeping lists, setting reminders, assigning achievable milestones, etc.

Milestones and deadlines are the prerequisites for a successful organization. For example, if you are running a fundraising project, assign milestones for every part of the event such as sending invitations, creating fundraising video, booking entertainment, etc. Moreover, set up specific and realistic deadlines.

Deadlines and smaller milestones will ensure that your team knows their priorities and finishes all assignments on time.


As a leader, you have to present an example for others. That’s why you need to be self-disciplined.

Some volunteering communities like GivingWay allow you to work from home on online volunteering projects. You might end up being a part of something like that.

Your self-discipline will be needed more than ever in such cases as there will be less face-to-face interaction to motivate you. Without it, you can fall into the claws of procrastination.

Procrastination is the biggest enemy of any project which is why you are warned about it as a student, as a job seeker, or employee. But procrastination can do most harm when you have to be in charge of your own project.

Boost your self-discipline in the following ways:

  • create a routine
  • stick to a schedule
  • handle the most challenging tasks on your daily to-do list first

Great Motivator

The best leaders are also the best motivators. If you can transfer your passion for the project to the team, you’ll give them encouragement to do their best.

Some of the ways to motivate your team is:

  • be open about the purpose of your project
  • praise the team for their good work
  • set up regular video calls with remote workers
  • be enthusiastic about the project’s progress
  • remind the team of your good cause during tough times

Amanda Sully, a passionate volunteer, writer, and ahead of content marketing recently coordinated her first volunteering project.

“This adventure has thought me about the power of motivation. At first, I wasn’t confident enough to put myself out there and give big motivational speeches. But that’s not what it’s all about since I’ve learned that simple yet inspiring one-to-one conversations were enough to make us feel invincible,” shared Amanda.


Unexpected situations are bound to happen. You are the one who needs to rise to that challenge.

Keep in mind that stressing out won’t help you solve the problem. Instead, when you come across an obstacle, instantly start thinking about how you can adapt to that change.

That’s what differentiates leaders from the rest. They are able to stay clear-headed and seek for the solution rather than succumbing to pressure.

The leader needs to be the one who will suggest different possibilities and find a way to make the program more attractive even if the first outreach didn’t go well. Adapt to your circumstances, do research, and don’t give up until you find a new way to achieve your goals.

As John Maxwell, an author, speaker, and pastor once said, “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”

Final Thoughts

There it is. The five golden traits that make simple project managers into invisible leaders. Doing something noble and challenging such as running a volunteering project will be less difficult if you embrace these traits and work on strengthening them. You do have a leader inside of you, just have to wake him up.

Head to our blog for more stories, tips, and volunteering inspiration! You can also check out our Volunteering Online & Around the World Facebook Group to connect with other volunteers and nonprofits! 😁

The views expressed in this guest post are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GivingWay. The material and information contained on the GivingWay blog is for general information purposes only. GivingWay will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in the GivingWay blog.