You’ve got a good group of volunteers, but now you need to keep them.
You have to think of creative ways to keep your volunteers with you, because these volunteers will be the backbone of your nonprofit. Volunteers give 10x as much as non-volunteers, because they have hands-on experience of how your nonprofit makes a difference.
How will you acknowledge the volunteer?
It is imperative to do a background check on the potential volunteer if they will be working with clients. It usually only costs $5.00 through your local police station, and it will help your nonprofit stay accountable to your donors, keep you and your clients safe, and reduce trouble for yourself and other managers.
Be positive whenever you see your volunteers. It’s important to at least give them positive feedback, since you’re not giving them money!
What makes for a really good day?
Tell me about a time when you felt really engaged at work.
What did you like best about other volunteering jobs you had?
What do you need most from your work?
How do you like to spend your time outside of our office?
Here are ways to thank volunteers:
You really made a difference by…
I’m impressed with…
You got my attention with…
You can be proud of yourself for…
We couldn’t have done it without your…
What an effective way to…
You’ve made my day because of….
One of the things I most enjoy about you is…
(And writing this on their LinkedIn Profile, or giving them a letter of reference)
Catch them doing it right and thank them!
Recognize -notice something
When you work with volunteers, you have to be okay with giving up control. Some tasks are not going to get done as quickly as you would like, or exactly the way you would have done them. You can minimize your own impatience and irritability by asking volunteers to fill out a form with things everyone needs done around your nonprofit, and then ask them which ones they’d be best at, or which ones they’d most enjoy. This way they can be happy doing what they love (which may just be gardening at your shelter) versus sticking them into a phone bank when they really hate talking on the phone.