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How to keep nonprofit volunteers engaged in your nonprofit’s mission

Volunteers play an important role in nonprofit organizations. Their commitment to help and time for their communities helps these organizations make significant progress on set goals. Thus, the energy involved in maintaining these efforts can take its toll and ultimately cause volunteers to become less involved in supporting a nonprofit’s mission.

With the right approach, nonprofits can maintain volunteer support over the long term. To help, 18 Forbes Council of Nonprofits Each member shares one strategy that nonprofit leaders can leverage to ensure their volunteers remain motivated and engaged in the work they do for nonprofits.

1. Determine what the volunteers want from the experiment

Find out why your volunteers are there in the first place. Most volunteer to make an impact, so show them the difference they make in your communications. Others though, especially young or retired volunteers, are there to build community, so create moderation events that allow volunteers to connect with each other. Community and impact are the main drivers we hear from volunteers today. – Matthew GeyerAnd local sounding

2. Listen actively

To keep volunteers engaged in support of the nonprofit’s mission, generous listening is crucial. Regularly seeking out their contributions, understanding their passions, and acknowledging their contributions will make them feel valued and connected. This also cultivates ownership and meaningful participation, empowering volunteers to become passionate advocates for the cause. – Foslat Dogan SabanciAnd Fossilat Foundation

Forbes Council of Nonprofits It is an invitation-only organization for CEOs of successful nonprofits. Am I eligible?

3. Provide regular communication and feedback

One strategy for keeping volunteers motivated and engaged in supporting the nonprofit’s mission is to create a sense of purpose and impact through regular communication and feedback. This includes regularly updating volunteers on the progress and achievements of the organization, as well as providing specific examples of how their contributions are making a difference. Help foster a sense of belonging. – Christopher DebnarynAnd 4MyCiTy Inc.

4. Give them ownership

Make sure that the volunteers feel that they have ownership in what is being done and that the task would not be accomplished without them. Doing so leads to a high level of involvement and a deep level of responsibility. Volunteers don’t want to feel exploited, but they do want to feel part of something. After all, this is not their job. Volunteers want to feel a deeper sense of connection with the place they choose to devote their time to. – Yisrael AbzurAnd daily giving

5. Demonstrate the impact of their work

Show effect. Let volunteers know the difference they make in ensuring the organization’s vision is achieved and how their actions bring us closer to achieving the goals. Being part of a cause and seeing your own contributions is invaluable. If you give them facts and data to make them proud as ambassadors for the cause and the organization, they will deliver it time after time. – Magdalena Novica MockAnd ICF (International Coaching Federation)

6. Keep them “informed”

Treat volunteers as “informed” – because they are! Provide occasional briefings from the CEO or board members, and ensure that volunteers have a chance to hear important news before it is made public. Also, provide them with opportunities to build relationships with other volunteers because the person who has built relationships with their peers will have stronger connections to the organization. – Laura McDonaldAnd Donor group

7. Maintain a volunteer mentoring network

We work with over 350 dedicated volunteer mentors. Invest in nurturing and nurturing your network of mentors by viewing mentors as a key audience, serving as a concierge desk who aspires to deliver 5-star client services and offer a structured framework with clear timelines and deliverables so everyone knows what is expected of them. Also, get to know them personally by offering them wine, cheese, chocolate, pizza, or the occasional tacos. – Brigitte HelmsAnd Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship

8. Help volunteers feel proud to participate

A great way to keep volunteers motivated and engaged is to build a sense of pride around the work being done so they can be proud to be a part of it. Building a personal relationship with each volunteer can help you understand why your nonprofit’s work is important to them. Thank them for volunteering and show your gratitude by posting on your website, on social media, or on a board within your organization. – Christina PottsAnd He listens

9. Show gratitude

Thank volunteers often and treat them as if they were your main donor. Volunteers are not only helping hands, but also watchful eyes, listening ears, and warm hearts. Provide them with a range of meaningful roles and match them with volunteer jobs that meet their strengths. A personal thank you from employees and the CEO goes a long way, as it will also open doors for communication on mission and work. – Randy WongAnd Hawaiian Youth Symphony

10. Mission Center

It is important to always keep the task in the middle of it all. Volunteer service can be defined by meeting times, logistics, and task items at the expense of highlighting the mission. However, having a passion and purpose to serve is rooted in the impact the organization achieves. It is important to sow the seeds of action with the stories and faces of those who have served and will serve. – Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHPAnd according

11. Invite them to share their stories online

Allowing volunteers to tell their stories and post them on your organization’s social media channels can help volunteers feel valued. This also creates awareness for the community at large about the types of volunteer opportunities available at your organization. Hearing stories of volunteer personal enrichment will help attract more volunteers to the organization. – Juneetha Singh BhallaAnd Partition archives in 1947

12. Link them to the beneficiaries

Connect volunteers directly with the beneficiaries of their efforts to show them in real time the impact they are having on the work of your nonprofit. For example, if your nonprofit supports a student scholarship program, be sure to provide volunteers ample opportunities to spend time with your beneficiaries. Seeing the fruits of their labor will produce more motivated, committed and satisfied volunteers. – Victoria BurkhardtAnd More than tender company

13. Provide context for the work they do

Provide context for each volunteer experience. Make sure employees explain why this particular job is important to the nonprofit’s overall mission. For example, it could be as simple as greeting customers at an event to set the tone for the entire day. Make sure each volunteer understands the “why” behind their work, and don’t let the volunteer misinterpret their experience with you as boring or unhelpful. – Deidre Lind

14. Personalize the experience

Make it personal. Take candid photos of volunteers interacting with your nonprofit. On special occasions, birthdays, or other memorable dates, send them an email or post on social media reminding them of that special moment and of their connection, commitment, and passion to your cause. Even sending a simple “We appreciate you” text goes a long way to nurturing a great volunteer engagement. – Aaron AlejandroAnd Texas FFA Foundation

15. Align work with their interests

We ask volunteers to work on projects that interest them. For example, we offer free tax preparation for low-income individuals. Many of our taxpayers are seniors, so our volunteers who provide the service enjoy helping seniors. Training and software make the process easy, but it’s the connections volunteers make with those they serve that make the experience meaningful. – Kimberly LewisAnd Goodwill Industries of East Texas, Inc.

16. Ask for their input

Asking volunteers for their ideas for solutions creates a connection and a sense of ownership for any given problem you are collectively trying to solve. Creating opportunities for volunteers to participate allows for deeper commitment. – Jamie RodgersAnd Urban Neighborhood Initiative

17. The guarantee of business is management

Keep volunteer opportunities small and manageable. It is important to offer opportunities with a variety of time commitments, from 15 minutes spent sharing social media posts to spreading our message to 2 hours while speaking to class. We show gratitude by acknowledging and saying thank you often. It is effective because it points to the difference we can make by using our time to help others. – Daniel WoopahAnd Millersville University

18. Recognize their efforts publicly

Regular recognition and recognition of volunteer contributions through personal messages, general commendations, and specific appeals for their commitment. This boosts morale by promoting a sense of worth and belonging. Recognition reinforces their commitment, stimulates continued engagement and strengthens the relationship, leading to continued enthusiasm and engagement. – Nick LynchAnd Collidescope IO, Inc.

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