Volunteers are such a cherished part of our nonprofits, wouldn’t you agree?
They connect us withthe community, and serve as evangelists in a way, working around the clock to grow our social reach and promote our values.
We have immense gratitude for our amazing team of volunteers!
In our work as social impact leaders, we’ve noticed many nonprofits aren’t quite sure HOW to attract like-minded volunteers who share their values and align with their mission.
Today, we wanted to share some strategic moves you can make to attract and retain your superstar team!
To make your volunteer attraction process effortless, we urge you to give some thought to the following:
1. Clearly Define Your Values – Think about WHO you want to attract. Clearly articulate your values in your volunteer position description. While your social impact goals are important, you want to simultaneously reinforce volunteer aspirations, and give them a space where they feel like they are performing meaningful work.
2. Be Specific – What are you looking for in your ideal volunteer? Would they need technical skills? Would they need to be extroverted? Receptive to a lot of information? Have past experience in a similar nonprofit? The goal is to get volunteers to see themselves in your description.
3. Offer Flexibility – Offer short- and long-term volunteer opportunities. Make sure to clearly articulate this so they can make informed decisions. A great tip here is to TRACK the hours of your existing volunteer base. You will be able to appreciate and reward individual impact AND be able to accurately explain the time commitment required from prospective volunteers.
Now that you’ve spent so much time attracting your dream volunteers, it’s so important to retain them. Here are a few ways to do that:
1. Create a Smooth Onboarding Process – Focus on making a MEMORABLE first impression. One of the most effective ways to do this is to create an engaging and smooth onboarding process. Have a structured orientation process, and provide the training and resources they would need to perform their roles with ease.
2. Appreciate Your Volunteers – “Thanks so much for helping out”, “Glad to see you again”, “We couldn’t do this without you”…GRATITUDE goes a very long way. While it’s natural for you to be pulled in a ton of different directions with your business each day, always remember to exude gratitude toward the phenomenal people who make it all possible.
3. Offer Ongoing Support & Training – Make your volunteers feel welcome, and establish clear-cut modes of ongoing support, training, and feedback for them to avail of. Remember to keep avenues open for them to ask questions or request help and have these addressed immediately.
Volunteers are such a powerhouse in our nonprofits. These wonderful people put aside time for our causes. They champion our values. They passionately spread our message like wildfire to other prospective volunteers to grow our ambassador bases!
They need the right support, direction, and engagement to thrive. And it’s our job as social impact leaders to give them that!
Are there any volunteer attraction and retention tips you use in your nonprofit? Share them in the contacts or send us a message.