What is your organization’s culture like? Do you have a core set of strong volunteers who set an example for the newbies? Or is there constant turnover?
Having turnover is a problem – especially in non-profits where finding volunteers is a constant struggle. To turn this type of culture around, it’s important to create buy-in.
Buy-in makes your volunteers feel invested in your organization’s success. It gives them a reason to show up and a reason to continue – even when the work is less than exciting. Here are a few ways to create that buy-in so your nonprofit can retain your best volunteers.
Offer Unique Types of Compensation
Many volunteers appreciate gestures of gratitude. Even though they do not expect monetary payment, there are still things you can do to show your appreciation and get them coming back for more volunteer hours.
For example, see if you can get a discount at a local gym. Or give away some swag from your non-profit organization.
Keep Meetings Consistent
Meetings are generally thought of as a drag in the non-profit world but they serve a purpose. By holding consistent meetings, you continue to engage your volunteers and keep them on track. This leads to your volunteers being more productive.
Meetings also give you a chance to make your expectations more well-known so your team of volunteers can help you achieve your goals.
Make it Easy to Connect
Volunteers don’t want to jump through hoops to try to get a question answered or have a shift covered. Make it easy to connect with your organization by offering multiple means of communication. For example, using an app to manage the volunteer’s schedule makes it easier for someone to get a shift covered when they’re not able to work, which helps you keep volunteers and helps your volunteers feel more connected to your organization.
Say Please and Thank You
It might seem simple and obvious but so many organizations forget their basic manners. Saying please and thank you goes a long way. It’s free, easy and impactful.
Incorporate a Few Extras
To make your volunteers feel dedicated to your team, show your appreciation with a few extras outside of their volunteer work. For example, host a barbecue after your organization reaches a monumental goal. Or, put together a family night where families can come and enjoy some games and dinner together.
By doing this, you’ll give your organization a community feel with a strong culture instead of a corporate feel. This will make your volunteers feel more welcome and eager to participate in your projects.
The more you can make your volunteers feel excited about working with your company the better. By doing small things, such as minding your manners and putting together small thank you events, you’ll engage your volunteers and build that buy-in with your organization.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.