Guest post by Marylin Ryder
Just because you successfully attract volunteers to your organization doesn’t mean you’ll keep them. Here are five effective tips to maintain great relationships with your volunteers by building loyalty.
1. Get personal
In general, volunteers want to feel that you care about them. Ask about their interests and motives for volunteering. Perhaps they came to your organization to gain experience or find friends. In my article “I’m a student volunteer!” I outline the reasons why many young people join the volunteer community. Try to help them in achieving their goals and you will see how loyal they will become.
2. Tell volunteers your expectations
No one likes to spend time doing something he or she does not understand. Lack of understanding leads to low motivation and general disappointment. Thus, to keep your supporters motivated and satisfied with the results of their work, explain clearly what is expected of them and why their work matters.
3. Make volunteering convenient and fun
Many nonprofits ask volunteers to commit to working several hours per week or month. To keep your volunteers satisfied and wanting come back repeatedly, make sure this work is going on in a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
4. Let your volunteer speak
Each volunteer has his or her own opinion and aspirations in volunteering, so let them share it! Create a forum for your nonprofit where everyone could share their experiences or expectations, discuss topics that excite them or show pictures from their previous volunteering projects. This will help you to get to know your team better and create friendly and loyal relationships.
5. Show appreciation
Every person engaged in volunteering wants to know that he or she is really helping. Showing them they are appreciated is one of the most important parts of your job as a leader. You can do that in many ways, from simply saying “thank you” to holding a volunteer party or more.
Why is maintaining loyal relationships with volunteers so important?
Volunteers consider your mission worthwhile and want to support your community. This is evident in the fact they are volunteering their time. So, you need to focus on keeping their support for the future of your nonprofit.
In their role as an integral part of your organization, volunteers have the ability to give honest feedback. Don’t be afraid to talk with your volunteers about the project they’re working on – in discussion you may find greater solutions to existing problems and improve the process significantly.
Volunteers can help find other donors and supporters. If volunteers have a good experience of working in your team and truly believe in what you’re doing, they can easily convince other people to support the project. By sharing their thoughts and impression of working with your nonprofit, happy volunteers raise awareness for your organization and attract more like-minded people.
About author: Marylin Ryder is a professional blogger and a freelance writer. Currently she’s engaged in educational projects in Seoul and volunteers at Edubirdie.com, helping students in essay editing.
Photo credit: Richard foster