Keeping your volunteers motivated is as important as any aspect of your nonprofit organization. And, actually, it’s not that difficult. You will be surprised how little acts of gratitude and support can go a long way in the eyes of a volunteer.
Take a look at this list of ten things you can do to continually motivate your volunteers below:
Keeping Your Volunteers Motivated:
1. Respect their Time
Don’t invite a volunteer until you’ve got something to do. Letting a volunteer in is a waste of time for you and him. They are free, so they will use your help as long as it is available.
It is important to remember that volunteers are not your regular employees. Be careful and consistent in your plans. Be on the front line when communicating your needs. Indicate the duration of the task, when it will be available and when it should be completed. Offering other options is also a good option, even for volunteers who have busy schedules but still want to spend their time.
2. Make Joining Easy
Because the volunteer registration process is simple and effective, you can motivate your supporters to register and promote your organization’s capabilities. In today’s technically challenging world, it is very important to give volunteers the opportunity to register online. Using volunteer management software can give your non-profit organization the tools it needs to effectively promote, recruit and manage volunteer data.
3. Build a Community
Invite volunteers to join your non-profit community! Meet with them and make them feel welcome. A sloppy volunteer will not come back, but social ties will connect the volunteers to your organization and your case.
Food is always a great way to bring the community together. Arrange a meeting for volunteers or eat before you start a project. During the meal, they can get to know each other and get their own opinions. Some pizza boxes can make a big difference. If you are looking for a new way to feed the crowd, families at Cabot Creamery Farm offer pasta and cheese that are easy to prepare for your next meeting. This recipe is often served on the ‘Farm Family Recognition’ grill – try it!
4. Provide Thorough Instruction
One of the first contacts of volunteers with a non-profit organization is consulting and training. Successful training can motivate a follower to give up first. Your organization should use volunteer training as an opportunity to create a friendly atmosphere, present yourself in an unforgettable way, strengthen your mission and establish important contacts with your supporters.
5. Give them Resources
Nothing is worse than having a roomful of dedicated and capable volunteers without the resources to reach their full potential. Whether it is material items needed to hurdle the cause or the quality training necessary to handle sensitive work, there should be no volunteer that lacks the resources to make a difference.
As founder or manager of an organization, it is your job to ensure the volunteer has every remedy needed to make their full impact.
6. Open the Door for Communication
Effective communication with volunteers is important. Communicating about new opportunities, organizational impact and recognition is a great way to motivate your helping hands to continue investing their time. Communication can also help your organization to remind and inform registered volunteers of their future involvement. Remember to communicate early, often and in different ways.
The open-door policy ensures that your volunteers will do their best to ask questions. Although this is not typically done, try to communicate with them before and after volunteering and let them do so, too. You may receive some extra emails, but this will be great strategy for attracting more volunteers in the future.
Not only that, but introduce your volunteers to the people in the room on their first day. Take the time to briefly introduce some of the staff, your manager and other volunteers before you leave. This will go a long way.
When you are ready to work, explain your tasks in detail and show them if necessary. Take the time to attend any questions and be available if there are other questions – don’t be afraid to give the volunteers a difficult task! It may take a little longer, but if you give them a lot of work, they will be happy to come back. Closing envelopes is not enough.
7. Say Thank You to Them
While thanking the volunteers is normal, remember that sincere gratitude should always be shown. By showing them how much their work means to you, you can pave the way for a long-term relationship.
There are many ways to thank them. At least thank them when you see them in person, both at work and on the street. Another interesting approach is handwriting recognition. Whatever you do, remember to follow their volunteer experience with gratitude. In this respect, volunteer participation is comparable to donor participation. When you give thanks, you get long-time, loyal supporters.
8. Make Yourself Available
Another simple way to motivate volunteers is to be available when they have questions or problems. Remember that volunteers spend their time on your organization and expect to have access to the right person if they have a problem. By offering them quick and easy solutions to their problems, they will spend more time with your organization in the future.
9. Have Organization / Structure
An organized volunteer program is more attractive for any kind of volunteer. This may seem obvious, but you will be surprised at the number of non-profit organizations that depend on outdated volunteer management processes that prevent volunteers from taking advantage of future opportunities or utilizing their more-modern skills. Make sure that you keep the volunteer database up to date and show that you have a high level of organization at all stages of your volunteer program, both internally and externally.
10. Show them their Impact
Volunteers like to observe the results of their work. It’s easy to do by sharing it with them on social media. Take a few pictures and show your appreciation to the volunteers.
Try to think of other ways to spread your love of volunteering! Tell the volunteers about the goals of your non-profit association or tell them how they helped by sending an email or a personal letter to the community.
You can also recognize the volunteers by rewarding them for their efforts. There are many creative ways to reward them without emptying a piggy bank.
Keep Encouraging Volunteerism in your Cause!
Volunteers are an important part of your community, so don’t let them down! Give unto them as they have given to you – and maximize their willingness.
By keeping the volunteers motivated, you show them that you care. You can do this in many ways, such as by thanking them, preparing meaningful work for them, and by inviting them to be part of your community. By doing even the smallest things, you energize your volunteers.
If you’re interested in volunteering with CreativeVolunteer, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a part of an organization looking for enhanced storytelling, become a partner by emailing email@example.com.