Sustain Recurring Involvement
In my previous blog post “Finding Volunteers” I wrote about how to capture volunteers for your nonprofit. If you were successful at finding volunteers, your focus should now be on engineering your volunteer board to become recurring supporters—super volunteers. Developing a volunteer board requires more than just bringing in people who have free-time to spare.
A steady supply of volunteers is crucial to an organizations success; you want highly skilled volunteers to come and stay. Treat volunteers as strategic assets to your organization; treat volunteers with respect, and value their commitment to your cause. The bottom line?
The Elements Needed That Enable A Super Volunteer
I recently read an article from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, The New Volunteer Workforce, which I thought would be pretty valuable to share. They illustrate in great detail why volunteer talent leaves—five main reasons why volunteers are not returning.
The article confirms that all organizations should fundamentally have a volunteer management practice in place to keep volunteers returning. The following 5 practices should be implemented into your volunteer management policy:
- Tap into volunteers’ abilities, skills, and interests: Tap into volunteers’ professional skills. Match volunteers to the right opportunities with their skills in mind.
- Recognize volunteers’ contributions: Appreciate, recognize, and reward your volunteers. View them as more than volunteers—view them as strategic assets.
- Value volunteers, they are strategic assets: Volunteers provide a dollar value to their subject organization. A successful volunteer program can drive an organizations growth and long-term success.
- Invest in volunteers and staff: Invest the time in building training practices; and develop sound procedures and policies.
- Provide strong leadership, lead by example: Most nonprofit leaders are not taking the time to develop or support volunteer talent adequately—which leads to a one-time supporter. Respect your volunteer board!
What are some ways your organization recognizes the value your volunteer board provides?