1. Discover MotivationsThe directors of many nonprofit organizations do not see that their volunteers initially get involved because of a specific motivation aside from general goodwill toward the community. They might be looking to make some new friends with similar interests, or are trying to find a new perspective on life. Regardless of what’s driving them, if you assign these individuals to mundane tasks that they perform alone, they are not likely to gain much passion. To discover these motives, consider just asking right when you get in touch with them. Give volunteers a questionnaire with the freedom to write whatever they want in response. If someone is trying to gain new skills, offer to provide advice. People who feel like they are getting something in return for their work are more likely to return.
2. Articulate Your ExpectationsMany nonprofit volunteers get turned off from an organization when they are asked to perform a task that they weren’t expecting. To this end, take some time at the moment you bring new people onboard to explain what they will be doing on a daily basis. An effective way to do this is by distributing manuals with pertinent information, such as
- Number of hours expected of each volunteer.
- Contact information in the event of illness.
- The commitment of the organization to improve the lives of its volunteers and the surrounding community.
- Basic rules and procedures for things such as appropriate equipment handling and personal calls.
3. Volunteering Should Not Be a BurdenRemember that nearly all of the people who turn out to volunteer for your nonprofit organization have time obligations for other things. Keep this in mind when you come up with their schedules for the week. Someone who is available on Monday one week may be busy on the same day the following week. Ask each volunteer for a commitment of hours in a given time period, but be sure that you are flexible, as you are still demanding a lot from these people.
4. Keep Fun in MindWhile you don’t need to shower every volunteer with gifts every time they show up, recognize that some of the jobs you ask them to perform are more entertaining and satisfying than others. These “fun” activities should be in keeping with each person’s experience level, however.
5. Show AppreciationRegardless of the field you have chosen for your nonprofit organization, your volunteers need to know that what they are doing is making a difference. Doing the following can make sure that they return:
- Express gratitude for good work.
- Establish appreciation luncheons or other group activities.
- Invite your top volunteers to work events such as holiday parties, at which you can present awards for outstanding service.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.