In celebration of National Volunteer Week, we thought it important to discuss how organizations can best motivate their volunteers to stay long term. The Cause Agency relies heavily upon the skills of its passionate Cause Agents, who selflessly contribute their time and are the heart and soul of the organization.
The first step we take is to invest the time in understanding the reason behind an individual’s desire to volunteer. Whether they do it to feel all warm and fuzzy at the end of the day or if they need another bullet on an already impressive resume or if they are hoping to acquire a new skill, it is the nonprofit’s job to keep volunteers engaged for long-term success. Here are a few tips to ensure that happens.
- Show Appreciation – Sometimes all it takes is a simple “thank you.” Other ways to show appreciation include organizing events that highlight the success of the nonprofit based on wonderful work done by volunteers or incentivizing through rewards or small tokens of appreciation.
- Make It Fun – Volunteer work can sometimes be mundane or stressful. Include volunteers in company sports teams, pizza parties or happy hours.
- Assign Proper Tasks – Find out what your volunteers’ strengths and interests are, and then put them in positions where they can utilize those skills and thrive.
- Communicate Effectively – Provide volunteers with concise goals on day one so they know what they are working toward and don’t feel as if their efforts are futile.
- Give Proper Training – Nobody likes to fly blind. If a volunteer is given a task beyond their capability or knowledge, they will become frustrated and may burn out quickly.