02 Mar Engaging Your Volunteers Beyond Volunteering
Volunteers are the heroes of your organization.
Not only do they offer their time and talents to you for free, but they’re also some of your most dedicated partners in service to your community. Now that’s a hero! When looking for the people who will step in to help, no matter what, you often don’t have to look much further than your volunteers.
But organizations can “silo” their volunteers into that one box: They came in as a volunteer… so you never talk to them beyond volunteering. They work exclusively with your Volunteer Coordinator, while your Development Coordinator never hears anything about these committed supporters – and their potential goes untapped.
Here are three practical ways you can encourage your volunteers to become more engaged at your nonprofit organization:
- Ask them to share their experiences. By listening to their stories, you’re providing a new perspective to your donors and supporters, while simultaneously getting the volunteer actively engaged in more than just volunteering. Perhaps their story can go into your next newsletter or on your social media platforms. Volunteers have a unique advantage and perspective of your organization – one that no one else might be able to experience. Let them know they are doing more than just volunteering… they’re also helping to advocate the Mission’s cause and spread the word about your work!
- Share your needs. Don’t miss out on opportunities to share with your volunteers some needs your organization has. Maintaining an updated list of in-kind donations needed at your nonprofit and displaying it in a public spot is a good way to get your volunteers to come back and donate more than just their time.
- Keep track. Making sure your organization has an updated database with your volunteers’ information is key to maintaining your relationship with them. If you know somebody has devoted years of their time at your organization, then you know they are a dedicated supporter of your cause. You’ve already established your trust, so now take it a step further and give them a call or send them an email reminding them of the impact they’ve made. In letting them know you value their time, also invite them to an upcoming event, share planned giving opportunities or let them know about a fundraising event happening at your organization! Don’t miss out on the chance to invest in the people who have already invested in you.
Need input on your Volunteer program? Or need help showing Volunteer Coordinators and Development Teams how to better partner? Brewer Direct’s Executive VP Client Strategic Development Shellie Speer is ready to help!
Shellie has been working side-by-side with Rescue Mission clients for over 30 years. Shellie’s commitment to meeting the specific needs of her clients remains her first priority. Her role at Brewer is to bring comprehensive development and her passion for consulting to clients and guiding them through big picture strategy within their organizations.