Having a pre-established pool of volunteers you can pull from is an excellent way to ensure you’re going to have reliable people whose skills you’re already familiar with.
However, the key to retaining your volunteers is to keep them happy.
Here are some tips you can use to ensure your volunteers want to stick around.
1. Make Them Feel Welcomed and Needed
When you personally welcome people into your organization as a volunteer, even if it’s just for one event, you want to make sure they know you appreciate them being there. Introduce them to other volunteers and the staff and make sure they know who they should report to with any questions.
When the event is over, send out a heartfelt thank you to your volunteers and offer them some sort of treat or gift, if you can. A BBQ, a small product, or even a letter of recommendation or handwritten card are all terrific ways to acknowledge their contribution.
2. Maximize Their Skills
If you have volunteers who show an aptitude for a particular skill, try to maximize that by encouraging them to learn more or offering additional training. This will benefit both your volunteers and your organization.
Sometimes grunt work needs to be done, and everyone must do their share, but if you always get your most talented volunteer to do these tasks because they’re reliable, they may eventually get tired of it. Work to “promote” your volunteers with each event, if possible.
3. Offer Proper Training
Volunteers don’t want to be given a brief description of their job and then be thrown right in. That’s stressful for everyone! Give the volunteer confidence by letting them know exactly when and where they need to show up and what the commitment entails. Provide a detailed list of what they’re expected to do before, during, and after the event, and go over it with them to make sure there’s no confusion. If you can, provide pictures and maybe even short instructional videos. Take the time to give clarity and answer every question they have. Partner new volunteers with experienced ones who can act as mentors and take some of the training time off of your hands.
4. Have an Easy Way of Communicating with Them
Volunteers want their signup process, training, and communications to be low-stress and easy to do. Having to pick up the phone and leave messages every time they have a question can be frustrating. So, offering them a portal to find and apply for volunteer opportunities, read an FAQ section, log their volunteer time, and communicate with you and other team members will make it much easier for everyone involved.
At Timecounts, we offer volunteer management software to help you recruit, schedule, and track your volunteers. Make volunteer management simple for you — and keep everyone happy and wanting to come back to volunteer. Start now for free!