Recruit, Manage, and Retain Volunteers

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On Wednesday, March 23rd, GlobalGiving hosted a training on volunteer recruitment, management and retention. The following is a recording of that training.

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  • It’s important not to have a narrow view of volunteers – often times I talk to organizations that think of volunteers as just high school students who can make copies, staple packets, etc. And while this is a certainly a viable option for volunteers, volunteers can be SO MUCH more! Highly qualified interns, professionals, etc. For fundraisers – this last item is crucial, volunteers can become future donors, can bring in future revenue
  • Things to think about when recruiting volunteers: - diversity! You want people who are going to bring new insight, challenge you, give you ideas
  • Write a description that is: Compelling – get people excited about this volunteer opportunity! Honest – at the same time, be honest. Don’t sugar coat anything. If people are going to be living in difficult circumstances, or doing a lot of photocopying, make that clear up front to avoid surprises Concise – people don’t like to read. So keep it short and sweet. VolunteerMatch recommends that your listings be no more than 100 words Specific – tell people exactly what they’ll be doing, what your expectations are, the qualifications that they will need, the dates, the location (in the field, your office, or remote) Other things to consider: Spelling and grammar – people respond well to good work choice, grammar, spelling etc. Include only one opportunity per listing
  • Develop a target audience. Think critically about who you want to volunteer and how you can attract them. For example, are you looking for college kids? Retired individuals? Skilled volunteers? Companies that would like their employees to donate time?
  • Has referred over 5 million volunteers in the past 10 years
  • Audience that is looking to do good Fundacion Sodis in Bolivia has received an excellent translator. Other organizations have had webites built, had volunteers help out with garage sale fundraisers, received social media support, and had individuals come work with them overseas. Right now, one of our partners, Brothers Self-Help group has a volunteer living in their village in rural Kenya! GlobalGiving is making valuable connections GBSN Sites of Change Editors from Towson Morehead Cain Foundation GlobalGiving is responding to requests - friends, donors, random visitors, etc.
  • Like fundraising, just posting something online is not sufficient. Promote your volunteer opportunities in your social networks. In February, GlobalGiving began the search for a new Unmarketing Manager to manager our social media. Instead of accepting applications the traditional way, via email, we insisted that they be delivered in a creative way. It spread like WILD FIRE. We had people singing, sending us baked goods at the office.
  • Create a volunteer experience Make sure that volunteers understand the long-term impact of their work with your organization
  • Create a volunteer experience Make sure that volunteers understand the long-term impact of their work with your organization
  • This can be both during and after the volunteer experience When you’re passing by and you notice that you’re doing really great work, stop to say thank you When they’re about the leave for good, say thank you again Once they’re gone, follow up with yet another thank you!
  • Recruit, Manage, and Retain Volunteers

    1. 1. Volunteer Recruitment, Management, and Retention March 23, 2011 Contact: Alexis Nadin [email_address]
    2. 2. Agenda <ul><li>Why should you love volunteers? </li></ul><ul><li>Objectives of a volunteer program </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer recruitment </li></ul><ul><li>GlobalGiving’s volunteer listings </li></ul><ul><li>The volunteer “experience” </li></ul><ul><li>Staying connected </li></ul>GlobalGiving volunteer visiting a partner in Southeast Asia
    3. 3. Why should you love volunteers? <ul><li>Free labor! </li></ul><ul><li>New perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>Unique skill sets </li></ul><ul><li>Potential long-term advocates </li></ul>
    4. 4. Objectives of a Volunteer Program <ul><li>Recruit capable volunteers that will challenge your organization to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Fill gaps that have been created by limited resources </li></ul><ul><li>Create a safe, friendly, and productive environment for volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Build fruitful relationships </li></ul>
    5. 5. Volunteer Opportunity Description <ul><li>Write a description that is: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compelling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Honest </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Concise </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Specific </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Write a title that catches people’s attention </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a description that is detailed and comprehensive </li></ul><ul><li>Tell prospective volunteers what you do </li></ul><ul><li>Be honest, upfront, and explicit about qualifications </li></ul>
    6. 6. How to Recruit Volunteers <ul><li>Identify a target audience </li></ul><ul><li>Where are the people that are passionate about your mission? </li></ul><ul><li>Diversify volunteer outreach </li></ul>Help youth in the Eastern Caribbean region walk!
    7. 11. Why Post an Opportunity on GG? <ul><li>Audience that is looking to do good </li></ul><ul><li>GlobalGiving is making valuable connections </li></ul><ul><li>GlobalGiving is responding to requests </li></ul>A GlobalGiving volunteer’s visit to El Desafio
    8. 13. Managing Logistics <ul><li>Estimated cost </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Housing? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Food? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expectations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tasks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Time commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contacts </li></ul><ul><li>Emergency information </li></ul><ul><li>Legal requirements </li></ul>Support Community Based Disaster Recovery in Haiti
    9. 14. Volunteer Work <ul><li>Do’s </li></ul><ul><li>Do become familiar with your volunteer’s unique skills and interests </li></ul><ul><li>Do ask your volunteer what they would like to do </li></ul><ul><li>Do be clear and honest about your expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Do provide your volunteer with necessary training and tools </li></ul><ul><li>Don’ts </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t set your volunteers up to fail </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume that all volunteers can do everything </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t accept just anybody </li></ul>
    10. 15. The Volunteer Experience <ul><li>Give people the chance to fall in love with your organization! </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a holistic view of your organization </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage a sense of ownership and belonging </li></ul>Project FOCUS: Art for Development in Uganda
    11. 16. Thank You! <ul><li>Specific, immediate thank you’s </li></ul><ul><li>In-person, via email, or card </li></ul>“ Thank you Jessica, for taking the time to do Matt’s math homework with him.” “ Thank you Justin, for spending your summer working at our rural health clinic. The time that you have given us is invaluable! You have helped so many people!”
    12. 17. Get Feedback <ul><li>Show interest in volunteer’s impressions </li></ul><ul><li>Check-in regularly </li></ul><ul><li>Accept constructive criticism and make changes </li></ul>School Yard Garden in Inner City DC
    13. 18. Stay Connected <ul><li>Brainstorm ways for the volunteer to stay engaged </li></ul><ul><li>Set the ball in motion while you’re still together! </li></ul><ul><li>Create a GlobalGiving fundraiser page </li></ul><ul><li>Set goals and make plans </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up and stay involved </li></ul>
    14. 20. Resources <ul><li>VolunteerMatch’s Learning Center: http://www.volunteermatch.org/nonprofits/learningcenter/ </li></ul>
    15. 21. Post a volunteer opportunity today! https://surveyglobalgiving.wufoo.com/forms/volunteer-information/ Contact: Alexis Nadin [email_address]

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