Volunteer Management

How to keep volunteers engaged

With a volunteer management system, it’s easy for charitable organizations to keep track of their supporters. However, if nonprofit leaders want these supporters to stay, they need to maintain relationships with them and keep them interested in the cause. Here are several ways to keep volunteers engaged:

Create meaningful roles
If nonprofit managers regularly give volunteers menial tasks, such as filling envelopes or cleaning dishes, they may not feel valued. It’s important for charitable leaders to learn about each volunteer’s skills and interests before assigning their roles. If a volunteer has good leadership skills, that person may be suited for a managerial role. He or she could manage a project and assign duties to other volunteers.

“80 percent of volunteers want to know how their efforts have helped others.”

Celebrate volunteers’ accomplishments
According to a 2013 Volunteer Recognition Study, 80 percent of volunteers said they want to how their efforts have helped others. It is important for nonprofit leaders to regularly show their supporters what all of their hard work for the company’s cause goes towards. For example, if a volunteer organized a fundraiser to raise money for children in Africa, show that person photos of the kids he or she helped.

Keep in touch with volunteers
With the Internet, it’s easier than ever for nonprofit leaders to stay in touch with volunteers. Sending these supporters occasional emails or tweets will help them stay connected with the organization. For example, if a charitable organization is holding a fundraising event in the near future, a staff member should email past volunteers and encourage them to help out.

Give thanks
Volunteering takes a lot of commitment, so it’s essential for charitable organization leaders to regularly thank volunteers for their time. According to KnowHow Nonprofit, nonprofit leaders should modify their gratitude to each volunteer. Individuals who are shy about being put in the spotlight, for example, probably shouldn’t be thanked publicly. They may feel more comfortable receiving thanks through an email or phone call.

Create a sense of community among volunteers
It’s important for volunteers to feel connected to each other. A good way to create a sense of community among these individuals is to host parties or casual get-togethers a few times a year. Volunteers can get to know each other better and talk about their history with the charitable organization.