Top Tips to Keep Volunteers

Lori Halley 21 July 2014 0 comments

Top Tips to Keep VolunteersVolunteers are an essential resource for most non-profits, associations and clubs.

But, many organizations struggle to recruit volunteers and convince them to keep coming back.

Top Motivators for Keeping Volunteers

Software Advice (a company that evaluates volunteer management technology) conducted a random sample of 3,020 U.S. adults to “learn what volunteers believe are the most motivating incentives non-profits can offer to encourage retention.” Their survey found that:

  • 27% of volunteers cited convenient scheduling, with 37% of those respondents favoring a “drop-in schedule” or short-shift scheduling option

  • 24% of volunteers cited proof of their work’s impact, with 42% of those respondents favoring  testimonials from beneficiaries

  • 23% of volunteers cited professional development, with 48% of those respondents favoring career training/education

Their research found that (not surprisingly) “the fundamental reason people choose to volunteer is because they want to help.” But with the number of adults volunteers declining, they wanted to “understand what steps nonprofit organizations can take to ensure their volunteers will continue serving.” For example, what  incentives can non-profits implement to attract and retain volunteers and encourage repeat volunteering?

Looking for an easy way to recruit more volunteers? Download our Volunteer Recruitment Checklist

 

Incentives to Motivate Volunteer Retention

Of the adults surveyed,“27 percent ... said the most attractive incentive for repeat volunteering was providing convenient scheduling. This suggests that organizations looking to attract and retain volunteers should focus on developing flexible schedules, and be open to creating short shifts or drop-in schedules (preferred by 37% of survey respondents). Recognizing that volunteers have a multitude of other responsibilities and commitments, accommodating their time frames ensures an optimum experience for everyone involved and builds loyalty.

Show me the benefits!

The researchers found that "the top incentive of proof of impact for our survey respondents was a testimonial from beneficiary, 42 percent. Volunteers want proof that their contributed time and service had a direct, positive impact on a beneficiary and an organization's mission. Seeing how their contributions were effective motivates volunteers to continue serving their community."

Learning is important too

While motivated by their desire to help and give back, learning new skills or acquiring work-related training was also seen as a key incentive for 23 percent of the survey respondents. In fact, "receiving work-related training in exchange for volunteering—which volunteers can use to get a job or advance in their current position—was favored by 48 percent of those respondents who said professional development opportunities would motivate them to volunteer more than once."

If you’d like to check out their SlideShare presentation - Incentives To Encourage Repeat Volunteering - you can view it here:

 

Are you having trouble recruiting and keeping volunteers?

Along with offering flexible scheduling, you might also want to look at the scope of your volunteer jobs.  Are they just too big?


Here's an article (by Tobi Johnson) from our Membership Knowledge Hub, that might help:  Redesigning Volunteer Jobs That Are Too Big.

Top Tips to Keep Volunteers

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.
Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 21 July 2014 at 8:30 AM

Get a Special Report on Simplifying Membership Management

Enter your email and receive this special report in your inbox.
Sorry, this blog post is closed for further comments.