Get Volunteers, Keep Volunteers
You have a great new vision for your organization! This idea is going to help you better achieve your dedicated mission. Charitable organizations, like yours, run on volunteer power. You need to get volunteers to implement this great new idea. You know that people are already involved, already spending their time helping the organization out, and they may be reluctant to commit to something new. Getting and keeping volunteers is key to your success. You need a strategy to get the people that you will need involved and excited for this new direction. So, how do you get volunteers and keep them without begging?
First, communicate the mission.
What will it achieve, and why is it important? Get people interested in your charity goal. Make it sound fun, make it sound fulfilling. Tell your group what kind of volunteer support you will need. Explain on what days, and how long you will need help. Be very specific. Describe the functions you will need performed. Talk about how all this is going to help the mission come together, making the volunteers key to the success.
Then, recruit volunteers.
If you have a sign-up sheet, pass it around, or direct people to it. Put someone knowledgable in charge (of the sheet) who will encourage people to volunteer, provide information and answer questions. If you are not getting the number of volunteers you need, or there are people you would like to volunteer but have not signed up, start asking people individually.
This is very powerful in motivating people to volunteer. Do not get discouraged if people say no. People have legitimate reasons and other responsibilities that they must consider. See if you can get a small commitment from them to work around other obligations. Aim to get a maybe from them, if they appear conflicted. Follow-up with the people that said maybe. Personally conatct them to see if they can help.
Keep them informed.
Once you get your volunteers lined up, be sure to keep them informed. Send out reminders before every event. It is natural for people to forget about something that isn’t regularly on their schedule, so reminders can help combat that. Keep it simple. Too much information, and it can lead to the reader skimming it or not reading it, and missing the key points you want to get across.
Keep them coming back.
When it comes time to facilitate the mission or event, setting the right tone will greatly help volunteer retention. Make it a fun atmosphere. Have refreshments, have games, greet your volunteers enthusiastically. Check in on them throughout the event to see if they need anything or have questions or suggestions. Before they leave, personally thank the volunteers. Acknowledge how their role as a volunteer made the event successful. Be specific. A general thank-you is nice, but a specific thank-you takes it to a personal level where people feel appreciated for their particular contribution. Feeling like they have made a difference will encourage people to volunteer again next time.
People are part of your organization because they believe in what you are doing. Reaching out to them in a personal and meaningful way will encourage them to give you the volunteer commitments you need to fulfill your mission.
We can help too! We’re your virtual fundraising software assistant!