Use these four volunteer engagement and retention tips to create a more enjoyable volunteer experience.
If your organisation is similar to most nonprofits, you likely rely on volunteer support to help run your programs and achieve mission-related goals. Volunteer work translates into tangible value for your organisation. In fact, the current value of an hour of volunteer work is $29.95!
It’s essential to develop a strategy to retain volunteers for the long term. Your nonprofit invests time and resources into training volunteers, and improving your retention rate leads to a higher return on this investment.
We’re going to explore four volunteer engagement and retention strategies to help your nonprofit retain volunteers:
The key to volunteer retention is the same as successful donor retention. Both efforts require creating personalised experiences for supporters, appealing to their interests and motivations, and showing your gratitude. Let’s dive into how you can apply those concepts to your volunteer relationships.
When volunteers are comfortable in their roles, they’ll feel greater fulfillment from participating in your opportunities. An engaging, satisfying volunteer experience starts with a well-rounded training process.
Try out these tips for a better recruitment and training process:
Make sure to market your volunteer program clearly and accurately so you’re attracting the right people for your volunteer roles. This ensures that potential volunteers understand what’s being asked of them and can hit the ground running once they’ve completed training.
Volunteers will be much more likely to stay involved with your organisation if they truly enjoy the work that they’re doing. When volunteers have the opportunity to get involved in roles that suit their interests and skills, they’ll feel like their contributions actually make a difference.
Use the following strategies to match volunteers with the right tasks:
When volunteers feel engaged and passionate about their roles, they’ll be much more productive, which ultimately benefits both them and your mission.
Do you like doing the same thing over and over? Perhaps if you are “that type of person”, but you probably like some variety, right? The same thing goes for volunteers: they might start to get bored if they participate in the same types of activities shift after shift. Mix things up by engaging them in different projects at your organisation. These can include:
Offering multiple ways for volunteers to engage keeps them interested in your organisation and generates reliable support for all of your initiatives.
Your volunteer opportunities shouldn’t feel like work. They should be fun and volunteers should be eager to return each shift. Foster a positive working environment using these best practices:
Another effective way to foster a positive work environment is to frequently express your appreciation. Saying thank you goes a long way toward building strong volunteer relationships.
To help your thank you messages stand out, consider writing handwritten thank you notes. Fundraising Letters recommends personalising these letters with volunteers’ names and references to the specific date that they volunteered.
Also, be specific about volunteers’ impact. Let volunteers know how much time they helped save for your team or how many community members they assisted with their efforts. This helps volunteers understand how their contributions directly advance your mission forward, making it more likely that they’ll continue extending a helping hand.
Volunteers give your nonprofit’s mission the support it needs to succeed. In return, it’s your job to offer volunteers a fulfilling experience that keeps them coming back. By incorporating these tips into your volunteer management strategy, you’ll be able to boost both their engagement and retention levels.
Advocacy volunteers are indispensible. These four appreciation ideas help you retain them!