10 Tips to Keeping Great Volunteers

Shannon McClure - Wednesday, August 09, 2017

  • Don’t waste peoples’ time, the quickest way to lose a volunteer is to not have anything for them to do or for them to feel they are not really needed. This takes a bit of thought and some planning.
  • Do say thank you. A lot. In writing, on your website, on social media, in person, on the phone, in front of others. It means a lot that someone is giving you their most valuable resource, their time. And remember, your Board Members are also volunteers.
  • Don’t randomly assign volunteers to tasks….do an in depth training and have a conversation about what the volunteer likes to do and what their strengths are.
  • Do reassign volunteers to different duties if they are not succeeding where you have them. Got a chatty volunteer distracting others? Put him on phone duty. Got someone who can't seem to find her place? Ask her to write a newsletter article or a blog or to interview other volunteers! 
  • Don’t ask anyone to clean your office. Just don’t. And save the shredding and assembling mailers for groups, community service volunteers, etc.
  • Do manage YOUR time wisely and schedule all of your potential newbies to train on one or two days per month, so you are not doing the same training 15 different times per month. 
  • Don’t forget to recognize and honor above and beyond volunteers. Show them the love to keep them happy.
  • Do remember to put the volunteer in charge of tracking and turning in their hours.
  • Don’t forget, it is easier to keep an existing volunteer rather than recruiting and training a new one.
  • Do look to your core volunteers when you are in the market to hire someone, they already care about what you do!

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