In the nonprofit world, volunteers are often the lifeblood that brings value to the work you do. And how you engage and recognize volunteers can be the difference between success and failure.
Recognizing your volunteers is much more than printing their names in the event program or monthly newsletter.
If you want to recognize your volunteers meaningfully and thoughtfully, a public thank you just won’t cut it.
You need to make your volunteers feel:
You want your volunteers to know that their involvement with the organization is critical to its success.
Does your organization recognize volunteers in a meaningful way?
Use your database to help
Your database is a treasure trove of information that you can use to recognize volunteers.
Take note of important dates or upcoming events. Do any of your volunteers have a wedding anniversary or birthday celebration coming up? Ensure that this information is properly recorded and tracked in your fundraising database and create workflows to automate this process for you.
Create business reminders to reach out to certain volunteers at certain times of the year, to touch base and keep them engaged.
For example, if a given participant prefers to volunteer in the winter, make sure to check in with him in the summer months to see how he is doing and nurture the relationship.
- Number of children and their names
- Spouse’s name and profession
- Where they went to school
- Other organizations where they volunteer
- Where they grew up
- Their passions and interests
The more information you gather, the more authentically you can engage and recognize volunteers at the right time and in the appropriate manner.
As a volunteer manager, your time is always limited and you can’t be responsible to remember everything so use your system to help you be the best Volunteer Manager you can be!
Maybe it’s time to evaluate whether or not you are using the best fundraising solution for your organization?
Be more than a manager; be a friend
If a volunteer is struggling with anything work or volunteer related or even personal, take them out for coffee, make an extra phone call and express your genuine concern.
Show your volunteers that you genuinely care. After all – their involvement in your organization is not a job. It is an expression of their passion and sense of priority. And it should be reciprocated on a personal level.
Ultimately, volunteer management is about building relationships with your volunteers. If they value your friendship and sense that you care they will be more invested in supporting the organization.
Give your volunteer ownership
Sometimes, as volunteer managers, we want to just tell our volunteers what to do, but a good volunteer manager ‘plants the seed’ and waits for the volunteer to take ownership of a brilliant idea.
Volunteers feel most appreciated and recognized when they feel invested in an event or program.
It becomes their own; they care about the outcome.
Even if it was initially your idea, they don’t need to know that! Just plant the seed, set the wheels in motion, and let them take the credit!
Solicit feedback from your volunteers about volunteer roles, the strategic direction of the organization and how to improve the volunteer program on a regular basis.
Causeview can help you engage and recognize volunteers
Causeview lets you track your volunteers' skills and availability to help you engage with them. You have access to information that will allow you to match the perfect support with the right role. We can help you recognize your volunteers with intuitive reporting that measures your events' performance. This allows them to see their role in your event and understand the positive impact they helped create. By recognizing and engaging with your volunteers, they will be more likely to want to help out in the future! Take the first step and see for yourself.