Best practices to keep Volunteers Engaged!
When thinking success for an NGO we often think big picture — the work they have done, the culture that has been created, and the effort put in but we tend to forget the village behind the effort and work put forth.
I’m talking about Volunteers. Building and maintaining relationships with volunteers is just as important. Volunteers make the nonprofit world go round. So, NGO’s here are some tips on maintaining those good relationships.
Work to keep your volunteers engaged:
When I say engaged, I mean not by their volunteer hours! Keep them engaged on other fronts; keep them updated on how they’re making a difference in your organization, ask for and listen to their opinions and ideas, and keep in touch with them outside of “work”. For example, set-up after hour happy hour for them, or an activity they are keen on participating in. The more you engage with your volunteers, the stronger their emotional bond to your organization will become.
Don’t waste their time:
You have volunteers because they want to make a difference in the world. If they don’t feel like they’re making a difference, they wouldn’t want to continue to donate their time and energy. As an NGO you want to remind volunteers a sense of purpose while they’re working with you. You can do this by setting expectations, defining goals, and making sure they have the resources and guidance they need to make the most of their time.
Volunteers are working with your organization in addition to having a full-time job, school, family, or other commitments. Being flexible is an important way to make sure your volunteers are able to work for you!
Acknowledge your Volunteers:
This is the most important piece of advice you can get! Even though volunteering is “volunteering” and it may not be a full-time commitment, volunteers like to be thanked and acknowledged for what they’re putting forth. Don’t forget to appreciate your volunteers! Even if they don’t donate financially, volunteers donate their time — and that’s just as important. Handwritten thank-you notes, appreciation events, and other outings will do wonders!
Don’t overlook volunteers’ motives:
Volunteers are motivated by different things. Combine their talents, skills, and interests and provide them with an opportunity that they wouldn’t want to give up! Allow them to be curious, take risks, and think outside the box!
So, these were some basic tasks you could incorporate to have a better and sustained relationship with your Volunteering Community!