5 Critical Steps For Welcoming New Volunteers

Lori Halley 23 January 2014 0 comments

Volunteers are an essential resource for many associations, non-profits and clubs. So if you are lucky enough to find new recruits for the coming year, you want to get them off to a good start to ensure they enjoy their experience and are motivated to stick around. 

Make it the one resolution you keep this year 

Do you have a process in place for welcoming and onboarding volunteers? If you are going to follow through with just one of your New Year’s resolutions, establishing a process to start volunteers off right might be a good one. 

We recognize that finding the time to develop, customize and maintain a new volunteer orientation process can be difficult, especially for small organizations with few or no staff. In fact, our Small Membership Insight Survey indicated that more than 65% of those recruiting, orienting and managing volunteers at small organizations are volunteers themselves. So while these folks may have a keen, personal insight into the volunteer perspective, it may also mean there are limited resources and time available for orienting and managing new recruits. 

If you are a volunteer, think back to when you joined the organization - what was it that drew you in and made you feel welcome? What was your perception of the organization? To make this a win-win situation for your organization and the new volunteer - what experience will you offer to get them off to a good start? 

2 New Resources Can Help 

We've created two new resources for our Membership Knowledge Hub to help get your volunteers off to a good start this year: 

Starting Volunteers Off Right

This article offers tips and resources to help you develop a new volunteer welcome and orientation process or to fine-tune your existing procedures.  The article takes you through the 5 Critical Steps to take in getting started: 

    1. Develop a plan
    2. Make new volunteers feel welcome
    3. Go beyond an orientation – demonstrate how volunteer efforts will make a difference
    4. Offer training that motivates and engages volunteers
    5. Say thank you and recognize their efforts 
Here is the link to the article: Starting Volunteers Off Right.

New Volunteer Checklist

This is a quick checklist to use as a guide to review your existing process or develop a new one.  You can take a look through this checklist and tick off the items you’ve got covered (for a great sense of accomplishment);  identify items you need to address; or use this as a jumping off point for your own volunteer orientation “to do” list.

Here is the link to the checklist: New Volunteer Checklist.

We hope these two new resources help you get your new volunteers off to a good start. The article also offers a list of additional reading and resources.

What’s your biggest challenge in welcoming your new volunteers?  Let us know in the comments below.

Image source:  To do list chalkboard illustration - courtesy of BigStockPhoto.com

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Thursday, 23 January 2014 at 8:30 AM

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