Volunteer Strategies for Today's Nonprofit Organizations
Volunteers and Nonprofits
For many nonprofit organizations, volunteers serve as the backbone of the organization. Volunteers, in many cases, carry the bulk of the workload in getting the nonprofit's mission accomplished through its programs and services. The devoted men and women who offer dedicated time and commitment towards the service populations of nonprofits are treasured assets for today's nonprofit organizations.
Recruit, Recognize and Retain Volunteers!
Volunteers are recruited through various means. Some nonprofits use announcements in their newsletters or the local press. Others use social networking like Facebook and MySpace, even LinkedIn, to spread the word about their volunteer needs for ongoing programs and special projects. There are a wealth of volunteer recruitment resources available today, so do not shy away from utilizing a broad array of methods to get volunteers recruited and registered with your nonprofit organization.
A list of online volunteer recruitment tools have been supplied for your usage below.
Volunteer Recruitment Resources
- Christian Volunteer Directory: Matching Volunteers with Urban Ministries, Short Term Missions Trips,
Christianvolunteering.org is the largest directory of Christian volunteer opportunities in the world providing opportunities in urban ministry, youth programs, short-term missions and virtual volunteering.
Idealist offers a wide variety of resources for nonprofits and consultants alike.
- servenet.org: Volunteering made simple! > Home
servenet.org provides information for volunteer service in various areas.
- VolunteerMatch - Where Volunteering Begins
Search Volunteer Opportunities. VolunteerMatch provides volunteer information and listings in your local community. Find local volunteering opportunities now!
Volunteers need to be recognized for their efforts. The volunteer manager or volunteer coordinator of any nonprofit must work tirelessly to show appreciation for the organization's volunteer staff. By recognizing your volunteers, you strengthen and sustain the relationship between your volunteers and your nonprofit organization.
Consider using some of the following ideas to recognize your volunteers:
- Potluck and Praise: Have a potluck lunch and provide your volunteers with tokens of appreciation as well as praise for their work and contribution for the organization.
- Volunteer of the Month: Add an element of recognition by offering a volunteer profile in your organization's newsletter or on its website. Include a photo and a quote from the volunteer.
- Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony: Invite corporate sponsors, donors and grant-making entities that support your organization to join in the celebration of your volunteers and their contribution to your nonprofit. This may be a banquet, luncheon or breakfast.
Recognition helps your volunteers to know that they appreciated by the staff and the board of your organization. Show your appreciation and share your appreciation with your volunteers.
Retention stems from both recognition and relationships. You want to have a personable person working with your volunteers. Your organization needs someone on the job who can make people for appreciated as well as provide an environment where the volunteers want to come back and serve again. Your volunteer coordinator or manager needs to serve as the glue for building solid relationships with volunteers.
Make the effort and see what comes out of it. You may have to alter some of your training and orientation to get some recruits. If you work with populations like children, youth or senior citizens, you definitely want your volunteers screened, but there are numerous resources that can assist with volunteer screening. You just have to ensure that you are in compliance, while you assure your volunteers that they are welcome to serve with you and your organization.