What We’re Reading This April 📚: Our Favorite Volunteer Engagement Blogs & More

As you’re likely well aware, April is National Volunteer Month. As we kick off the celebrations, it’s also important to look for opportunities where you can improve your volunteer engagement program, so you can deliver services more efficiently and create more impact. The key to doing this is building the systems that can support these goals — ones that foster sustainable volunteerism, create feedback loops, provide exceptional volunteer training programs and more.

This month’s round-up features blogs and articles from experts in the social sector to inspire you to re-visit your program and improve processes that’ll help you make an even bigger impact this National Volunteer Month and beyond.

Tips for Creating an Engaging Virtual Training
Jennifer Lobley for NTEN

Are mandatory in-person training sessions preventing qualified volunteers from getting involved with your organization? If your program allows, virtual training and orientation sessions might be the solution. When done right, they can be just as effective but much more convenient for interested prospects. Before taking it online, make sure to check out these excellent pointers from NTEN.

How to Create a Sustainable Volunteer Program
Hannah Trull for Nonprofit Hub

Volunteer sustainability means creating a healthy system where volunteers are nurtured and sustained rather than used and depleted. Building a sustainable system will help you support and grow your existing volunteer corps, allowing you to provide better services. Of course, this is no easy task, but these simple tips will set you on the right track.

The Road Ahead for Client Feedback
Valerie Threlfall & Kelley D. Gulley for Stanford Social Innovation Review

If you’re serious about developing a volunteer program that meets the needs of the community you serve, then soliciting and implementing solutions based on client feedback is absolutely necessary. Although more and more community engagement leaders recognize the inherent value of client feedback, barriers remain that thwart implementation efforts. Based on surveys and the work of several organizations, the authors of this article propose three opportunities to build stronger, more impactful programs that address client and community needs. A must-read for leaders in the social sector.

How To Attract Volunteers With The Power Of Video
Elysia Gabe for Engaging Volunteers

In order to recruit volunteers efficiently, you need to be able to educate, inspire and empower prospective volunteers. As you re-visit your recruitment methodology, consider adding video to your toolbox. In fact, video is becoming one of the most efficient ways to get your message across online. Check out our recent blog for more information.

Would You Choose Raw or Developed Volunteers?
Meridian Swift for volunteerplaintalk

Volunteer engagement leader Meridian Swift reminds volunteer managers about the importance of careful volunteer vetting, informative orientation and effective training processes. Even when faced with external pressure to quickly recruit more volunteers, remember that the recruitment systems you have in place help to ensure that you’re recruiting the right volunteers and can equip  them with the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver on your mission.

The Volunteer Perspective — Industry Insights 2019
Sterling Volunteers staff for Engaging Volunteers

As we build better systems to encourage and optimize volunteerism, it’s important to consider the volunteer perspective — why they volunteer, how technology shapes their experiences, what they think about screening processes, etc. That’s why we teamed up with Sterling Volunteers to survey volunteers about exactly that (and much more). Check out the major takeaways in our blog then download the full report!

What have you been reading lately? Share the best volunteer engagement articles you read this month in the comments section below!