How to Engage Your Volunteers

We're all looking for ways to engage our volunteers as we manage our organizations.

It's important to understand that your volunteers are volunteering their time (free by the way) with you and it's your responsibility to make that a great and productive experience for them and for your organization.

While I've written about volunteer management before, the following is a great list of tips that you can incorporate into your program of work.

Here are some tips you might want to think about on how to engage your volunteer leaders:

  • Understand volunteer motivation. Why do people volunteer? What are they looking for in a volunteer experience? Once you understand what motivates your volunteers, you can tailor your engagement strategies to meet their needs.
  • Use your volunteer engagement strategy to tell a story. What is the impact of your organization's work? How do volunteers make a difference? Share these stories with your volunteers to help them connect with your mission and feel like they are making a real impact.
  • Provide orientation, training, and feedback. Make sure your volunteers have the information and skills they need to be successful. Provide them with clear expectations, training, and opportunities to give feedback.
  • Be flexible. Not all volunteers are the same. Some may be able to commit to a regular schedule, while others may only be able to volunteer occasionally. Be flexible with your volunteer opportunities to accommodate everyone's needs.
  • Encourage a sense of community. Volunteers are more likely to stay engaged if they feel like they are part of a community. Create opportunities for volunteers to connect with each other, share their stories, and learn from each other.
  • Stay in touch. Don't just reach out to your volunteers when you need their help. Stay in touch with them throughout the year to let them know how their work is making a difference.
  • Show appreciation. Volunteers give their time and energy to your organization. Make sure you show them how much you appreciate their hard work. Send thank-you notes, host volunteer appreciation events, or simply take the time to say "thank you" in person.

By following these tips, you can engage your nonprofit volunteers and create a positive and rewarding volunteer experience.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Match volunteers with tasks that match their interests and skills. This will help them feel more engaged and productive.
  • Give volunteers the opportunity to learn new skills and grow. This will help them feel more challenged and fulfilled.
  • Provide volunteers with opportunities to give feedback. This will help you improve your volunteer program and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
  • Celebrate volunteer successes. This will help show volunteers that their hard work is appreciated and that they are making a difference.

Lots to think about.  Good Luck!