Volunteer Quotes

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Use these volunteer quotes to appreciate supporters and remind others of their invaluable contributions to your organization, community, and nation.

volunteer quotes 1 Volunteer Recruitment Quotes

Use these volunteer quotes to inspire the community to join you in service. Use them in volunteer recruitment ads, public service announcements, brochures, and presentation slides. Place them near your call to action.

“How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world.” ~ Anne Frank

“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.” ~ Sally Koch

“If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” ~Anonymous

“Help one another; there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.” ~ James Durst

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” ~ Muhammad Ali

“You have never really lived until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ~ Anonymous

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

“If you think the efforts of one individual will be nothing, then you have never been to bed with a mosquito,” ~ Betty Reese

“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~ William Shakespeare

“So, take what’s inside you and make big, bold choices. And for those who can’t speak for themselves, use bold voices. And make friends and love well, bring art to this place. And make this world better for the whole human race.” ~ Jamie Lee Curtis

“The debt that each generation owes to the past it must pay to the future.” ~ Abigail Dunaway

“He who does nothing for others does nothing for himself.” ~ Goethe

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catchers mitt on both hands. You need to be able to throw something back.” ~Maya Angelou

“In the long run, we get no more than we have been willing to risk giving.” ~ Sheldon Kopp

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” ~ Nelson Henderson

“While earning your daily bread, be sure you share a slice with those less fortunate.” ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

“Not only must we be good, but we must also be good for something.” ~Henry David Thoreau

“If you think the efforts of one individual will be nothing, then you have never been to bed with a mosquito,” ~ Betty Reese “

The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” ~ William Shakespeare

Ready to improve your volunteer recruitment results?

Check out our Free [e-Course] Better Volunteer Recruitment in 6 Easy Steps — you’ll get tools and tips in seven emails delivered every few days. CLICK HERE for more info.

2 volunteer quotesVolunteer Appreciation Quotes

Use these volunteer quotes to recognize contributions of time and talent no matter how small. Use them in thank you letters, social media posts, award event programs, and presentation slides. Post them all around your office.

“The measure of a life is not its duration, but its donation.” ~ Peter Marshall

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” ~ Elizabeth Andrew

“Volunteers are not paid – not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.” ~ Anonymous

“Volunteers are paid in six figures… S M I L E S.” ~ Gayla LeMaire

“Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.” ~Author Unknown

“Human life has meaning only to that degree and as long as it is lived in the service of humanity.” ~ Wole Soyinka

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.” ~ Erma Brombeck

“Volunteers are not servants. Volunteers are partners working together for improving America’s future.” ~ Mayor Richard Daly

“Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant pages in the biography of souls.” ~ David Thomas

“I’ve seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.” ~ Tracy Chapman

“If you become
a helper of hearts,
springs of wisdom will flow from your heart.”
~ Rumi

“The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others.” ~ DeAnn Hollis

“To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“Volunteers are love in motion!” ~ Anonymous

“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~ Oscar Wilde

“There are two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we receive, and the larger kind we feel for what we give.” ~ Edward Arlington Robinson

“Giving to others selflesly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darkness, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Help your sister’s boat across the water, and yours too will reach the other side.” Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” ~ Eric Hoffer

“Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” ~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.” ~ Thomas Carlyle Special

“There are two kinds of gratitude: The sudden kind we feel for what we receive, and the larger kind we feel for what we give.” ~ Edward Arlington Robinson

“Giving to others selflesly and anonymously, radiating light throughout the world and illuminating your own darkness, your virtue becomes a sanctuary for yourself and all beings.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Help your sister’s boat across the water, and yours too will reach the other side.” Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” ~ Eric Hoffer

“Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.” ~ Edwin Hubbel Chapin

“The work an unknown good man has done is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground green.” ~ Thomas Carlyle Special

Looking for new ways to recognize and reward volunteers?

Check out our Free [e-Book] Volunteer Appreciation: 50 Ways to Show Your Love — you’ll get 50 tips sorted by five key volunteer motivations. CLICK HERE to grab your copy.

3 volunteer quotesEvent Volunteers Quotes 

Use these volunteer quotes to motivate and appreciate the hard work of special event volunteers. Use them in your recruitment appeals, orientation materials, and thank you letters. You can even post them on banners at your event.

“Real charity doesn’t care if it’s tax-deductible or not.” ~Dan Bennett

“Winners make a habit of manufacturing their own positive expectations in advance of the event.” ~ Brian Tracy

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” ~ Leonard Bernstein

“It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.” ~ Helen Adams Keller

“He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

“My old man says when it’s time to be counted, the important thing is to be man enough to stand up.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.” ~ Hazrat Inavat Khan

“A noble leader answers not to the trumpet calls of self promotion, but to the hushed whispers of necessity.” ~ Mollie Marti

“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” ~ Helen Dyer

“Have you had a kindness shown?
Pass it on;
‘Twas not given for thee alone,
Pass it on;
Let it travel down the years,
Let it wipe another’s tears,
‘Til in Heaven the deed appears –
Pass it on.”
~ Henry Burton

“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.” ~ Quincy Jones

“Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing.” ~ Quincy Jones

“Every one of us can make a contribution. And quite often we are looking for the big things and forget that, wherever we are, we can make a contribution… just imagine what’s happening if there are billions of people out there doing something. Just imagine the power of what we can do.” ~ Wangari Maathai

“Life is more than sunglasses and hit movies. Reality – that’s the main event.” ~ Sylvester Stallone

“Life is so constructed, that the event does not, cannot, will not, match the expectation.” ~ Charlotte Bronte

“If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” ~ William Penn

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale

“Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” ~James Matthew Barrie

“Three keys to more abundant living: caring about others, daring for others, sharing with others.” ~ William Arthur Ward

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” ~ Edmund Hillary

Planning a big event the relies on volunteers for its success?

Check out our Free [e-Course] 5 Steps for Effectively Engaging Special Event Volunteers — you’ll get tools and tips in six emails delivered every few days. CLICK HERE to get started.

volunteer quotes 4Volunteer Training & Learning Quotes

Use these volunteer quotes to propel new partners through your new volunteer induction process. Use them in your training ads, presentations slides, and handouts. Post them on the wall at your workshops, too.

“As we help others, we cannot help but help ourselves.” ~ Ben Cohen

“We learned about honesty and integrity – that the truth matters… that you don’t take shortcuts or play by your own set of rules… and success doesn’t count unless you earn it fair and square.” ~ Michelle Obama

“Man is always inclined to be intolerant towards the thing, or person, he hasn’t taken the time adequately to understand.” ~ Robert R. Brown

“I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
~ Edward Everett

“…the world is a giant community now. This excuse of distance, time, doesn’t work…We’re all so connected. We can’t spend every second of our lives worrying about another family miles away but we somehow have to factor it in where we can.” ~ Ralph Fiennes

“I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Louisa May Alcott

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.” ~ William S. Burroughs

“A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.” ~ Bruce Lee

“One of the things I keep learning is that the secret of being happy is doing things for other people.” ~ Dick Gregory

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~ Albert Einstein

“When you’re in the day-to-day grind, it just seems like it’s another step along the way. But I find joy in the actual process, the journey, the work. It’s not the end. It’s not the end event.” ~ Cal Ripken, Jr.

“Through our willingness to help others we can learn to be happy rather than depressed.” ~ Gerald Jampolsky

“I’ve always thought that the best solution for those who feel helpless is for them to help others.” ~ Aung San Suu Kyi

“Teach me to feel another’s woe,
To hide the fault I see;
That mercy I to others show,
That mercy show to me.”
~ Alexander Pope

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.” ~ Seneca

“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

“Education is learning what you didn’t even know you didn’t know.” ~ Daniel J. Boorstin

“There are two kinds of stones, as everyone knows, one of which rolls.” ~ Amelia Earhart

“My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Wondering what volunteers think about your training program?

Check out our Free [Tool] Volunteer Training Feedback Form —  it’s a ready-made form you can use to get immediate, candid feedback from volunteers about how to improve your orientation and training courses. CLICK HERE to download.

volunteer quotes 5Volunteer Team Building Quotes

Use these volunteer quotes to galvanize and encourage teams to work together for the common goods. Use them in your training manuals, icebreakers, and position/team descriptions. Reflect on them with teams on a regular basis.

“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.” ~ Helen Keller

“Leadership should be more participative than directive, more enabling than performing.” ~ Mary D. Poole

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands — one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” ~ Audrey Hepburn

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

“He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own.” ~ Confucius

“We are all like one-winged angels. It is only when we help each other that we can fly.” ~ Luciano de Crescenzo

“The way to achieve your own success is to be willing to help somebody else get it first.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

“Leadership is a series of behaviors rather than a role for heroes.” ~ Margaret Wheatley

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

“It is when you have done your work honestly, when you have contributed your share to the common fund that you begin to live.” ~ Eugene V. Debs

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.” ~ Albert Einstein

“I believe that to meet the challenge of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. We must all learn to work not just for our own self, family, or nation but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace, the equitable use of natural resources, and through concern for future generations, the proper care of the environment.” ~ The Dalai Lama

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world, and that his heart is no island cut off from other islands, but a continent that joins to them.” ~ Francis Bacon

“We don’t see things as they are. We see them as we are.” ~ Anais Nin

“If someone listens, or stretches out a hand, or whispers a kind word of encouragement, or attempts to understand a lonely person, extraordinary things begin to happen.” ~ Loretta Girzaitis

“When you are kind to someone in trouble, you hope they’ll remember and be kind to someone else. And it’ll become like a wildfire.” ~ Whoopi Goldberg

“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Interdependence is a fundamental law of nature. Even tiny insects survive by cooperating with each other. Our own survival is so dependent on the help of others that a need for love lies at the very core of our existence. This is why we need to cultivate a genuine sense of responsibility and a sincere concern for the welfare of others.” ~ Dalai Lama

“If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you’ve got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat, and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.” ~ Robert Fulghum

“Our conscience is not the vessel of eternal verities. It grows with our social life, and a new social condition means a radical change in conscience.” ~ Walter Lippmann

“If compassion was the motivating factor behind all of our decisions, would our world not be a completely different place?” ~ Sheryl Crow

Wondering how to promote team spirit and better bonding?

Check out our Free [Tip Sheet] Volunteer Team Building Ideas — it includes five different volunteer training activities, based on brain science,  that support better learning and teamwork. CLICK HERE to get it.

volunteer quotes 6Volunteer Results & Impact Quotes

Use these volunteer quotes to frame outcomes metrics and performance management. Use them in your policies and procedures, handbooks, and desk manuals. Put them at the top of forms volunteers must use.

“Joy can only be real if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness.” ~ Leo Tolstoy

“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~ Audre Lorde

“If every American donated five hours a week, it would equal the labor of twenty million full-time volunteers.” ~ Whoopi Goldberg

“Great things are brought about and burdens are lightened through the efforts of many hands anxiously engaged in a good cause.” ~ M. Russell Ballard

“When life puts you in tough situations don’t think ‘why me’ think ‘try me.’” ~ Unknown

“The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.” ~ William Jones

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.” ~ Anonymous

“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ~ Yogi Berra

“If Plan A didn’t work the alphabet has 25 more letters. Stay cool.” ~ Unknown

“A challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn’t a challenge at all.” ~ Jon Krakauer

“Not being able to do everything is no excuse for not doing everything you can.” ~ Ashleigh Brilliant

“If you can’t stop thinking about it, don’t stop working for it.” ~ Unknown

“Your life and mine should be valued not by what we take… but by what we give.” ~ Edgar Allen

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” ~ Warren Buffett

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” ~ Rachel Mueller-Lust

“What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us. What we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.” ~ Albert Pike

“30 or 40 of such voluntary gentlemen would do more in a day than 100 of the rest that must be press’d to it by compulsion.” ~ John Smith

“When the story of these times gets written, we want it to say that we did all we could, and it was more than anyone could have imagined.” ~ Bono

“If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain. If I can ease one life the aching, or cool one pain, or help one fainting robin unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain.” ~ Emily Dickinson

“Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can In all the places you can
At all times you can
To all the people you can
As long as you can.” ~ Bernard Meltzer

Wondering how to calculate the value of your volunteers?

Check out our Free [Spreadsheet] ROI Calculator — by plugging in a few simple numbers, you’ll be able to estimate Your Volunteer Return on Investment (ROI) in as little as 10 minutes. CLICK HERE to get the tool and instructions on how to use it.