5 Keys To Getting And Keeping Volunteers

by Rebecca Osborn - Date: 2007-03-29 - Word Count: 425 Share This!

Volunteers are not paid -- not because they are worthless, but because they are priceless.

I have listed below practical ways you can motivate people to volunteer and keep them volunteering in your organisation.

1. Appreciate your volunteers. Appreciate that people give up their spare time to come and volunteer. They may have put aside social activities, family time or friends to come and help. Make sure that volunteers feel appreciated. You can do this by openly honoring them, send flowers to say thank you after a large event, send them on a weekend away for a break, buy them a massage or a beauty treatment.
If volunteers do not feel appreciated for what they are doing, they will eventually spend their time and effort where they do feel appreciated.

2. Pay Volunteer's expenses. Volunteers are already donating time to their organisations. It would be wrong to expect them to end up out of pocket as well.
Payment of expenses is important from an equal opportunities point of view. People on benefits or low incomes should not be excluded because they cannot afford the cost of travel or meals out.
Not paying expenses will make it harder to recruit, as the more barriers you place in the way of volunteers the less likely they are to want to volunteer for you.

3. Create a Volunteer policy. This is not always necessary for informal groups but once groups that use volunteers start to become larger and more formal the importance of a volunteer policy increases.
A volunteer policy ensures consistency, and demonstrates a commitment to good practice. It also helps clarify exactly why volunteers are being used within an organisation, and how they will work alongside paid staff. And for volunteers, it makes clear how they can expected to be treated by the organisation.

4. Find out why. Find out why people are volunteering for a specific area and it will enable you to place them in a position doing something that they are passionate about. It is better to have people that are self motivated because they love what they are doing, then to have to always push and motivate them.

5. Delegate. If somebody volunteers for an area and they are more than capable of taking it on, give it over! You cannot micro manage everything and expect to succeed in every area, you are spreading yourself too thin. This is especially important for your organisation as it grows bigger and you find that you do not have enough time to do everything you were once doing.
Delegate what you can.

Related Tags: inspirational, church, volunteering, motivated, volunteers, church life

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