Volunteers are your organization's biggest ally. While most of us continue to operate remotely, it's important that we don't forget the importance of volunteers. Engaging volunteers should always be a top priority within your Nonprofit. Volunteers offer so much to your organization. Volunteers are passionate, hard-working and eager to involved. For some organizations it's easy to get volunteers, and others it can be a hard task to tackle. Then, add the volunteers who want to help, but end up being burdensome. We've all had that interaction with one or more of the volunteers we described. Today, we're talking how to tackle each of these things to make sure your volunteers are always captivated.
Why you should be engaging volunteers:
With engaged and committed volunteers, comes loyalty to your Nonprofit. These people will do anything to make sure your Nonprofit is operating at the very best. You have that relationship where you can ask for help when you're in a pinch, and they'll be there for you. Nearly three out of four young adults are willing to raise money on behalf of an organization that matters to them (qgive.com).
Work collaboratively. New people, bring new ideas, eyes and areas of expertise. You can never have too many people working together, as long as it's productive.
Volunteer lead programs, are well attended. There is personal buy in with their friends and families. The programs are so well attended because it's a program that is coming from your targeted audience.
How to engage volunteers:
Direct outreach- whether it's one-on-one or you're reaching out to a group of friends, the direct outreach feels personal and will incline people to volunteer more.
Use current volunteers to solicit their friends. If you have a really involved volunteer, there's no harm in asking them to reach out to their friends. They will be happy to involve their friends in something they love to do. Plus, they know their friends, so you're likely to get great volunteers out of this.
Have a volunteer program. Train volunteers so they can get something out of this, and there is a sense of commitment.
Create a form that has different aspects where you need a volunteer. People can then fill out their interests, and it's then a matter of only having to reach out.
How to manage volunteers:
You have people excited about your organization and they want to help. But, let's face it- they're not the best at what they signed up for. Unless the said volunteer is inappropriate, going against your organization's beliefs or a nightmare, you should be taking the time to train and work with them. This won't go unnoticed. When you run into these challenges, it's important to have a plan in place. Here are some ideas:
- Review the work they have done and give feedback. Always be sure to start positive, and give constructive feedback.
- Switch the task you're asking them to do. Whether you make the decision, or you ask your volunteer what else they would like to help out with, it's a good way to optimize their expertise.
- Volunteer buddy system. Have a veteran volunteer teamed up with the volunteer who needs guidance.
Your organizations are all doing great things, and volunteers can help. We strongly urge you to start involving volunteers today, so when you are able to operate in-person, you will have these volunteers in place.