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Attracting and retaining volunteers

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How to attract and retain volunteers to your non-profit organization. Practical, 'how-to' tips from a veteran organization manager and consultant.

How to attract and retain volunteers to your non-profit organization. Practical, 'how-to' tips from a veteran organization manager and consultant.

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  • 1. Attracting and Retaining Volunteers Judith Lindenau Certified Association Executive JWL Consulting and Executive Coaching
  • 2. Who are your volunteers? • Feel compassion for those in need 86% • Have an interest in the activity or work 72% • Gaining a new perspective on things 70% • The importance of the activity to people the volunteer respects 63% Independent Sector, National Survey 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 2
  • 3. Profile of the Volunteer • Boomers are looking to contribute meaningfully to the community. • Donors want to contribute more than money. • Increasing pool of younger volunteers. • Some are looking for job experience, training, reentry to employment. 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 3
  • 4. Attracting Northern Michigan Volunteers • • • • 2/2/2014 The population is increasing: 10% in Benzie 8% in Grand Traverse 6% in Antrim Retirement communities Seasonal residents Rural culture/ sense of community JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 4
  • 5. National Trends in Volunteering • Baby boomers have highest rate of volunteering and lowest volunteer retention rate. • While overall volunteer hours are down slightly, more individuals and younger people are volunteering. 2/2/2014 • Volunteers are younger and more skilled then in the past. • Family and group volunteering are popular. • More people with professional skills available to nonprofit organizations. JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 5
  • 6. National Trends in Volunteering • Many volunteers are employed, students, or have young families. • Desire for freedom, ability to act quickly. • Volunteers want challenging, interesting assignments. • Volunteers come from a broader cross-section of society. • Volunteers expect to be treated professionally. • Volunteers need flexibility in hours. 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 6
  • 7. How do we best respond to these trends? • Design episodic, short-term positions. • Provide group volunteer opportunities. • Target recruitment to professionals, youth, retired people, ethnic groups, etc. • Offer flexible hours and locations. • Organize a substitute system of volunteers. 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 7
  • 8. Eliminate Committees 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 8
  • 9. Instead of Committees: • Design short term positions—work groups, task forces, board advisory groups for specific projects • Online forums and discussion groups • Start with the work that needs to be accomplished and design a structure to do only that 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 9
  • 10. Death By Meeting  Our meetings are held to discuss many problems which would never arise if we held fewer meetings”— Ashleigh Brilliant 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 10
  • 11. Maintain a Superior Data Base • Current members and contact information • Skills and interests • Demographic data • History of Involvement • Likes, dislikes • Individual and overall volunteer hours • Results • Evaluations and progress reports 2/2/2014 • Tips: – Use a good Data Base program • Microsoft Excel • Volunteer Works • Database software » » » » Filemaker Pro AccessVolunteer VolunteerSpot.com Tech Soup.org – Periodic Updates (online, response card, phone, email) – Active Communication s program (social media, annual meeting, events) JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 11
  • 12. Assign Volunteers Wisely • Clear role description • Strong fit: interests, experience, ability • Authority to accomplish the role – Budget – Span of control- when must they check-in before making a decision-making – Reporting & communication requirements – Communicate role to others in organization 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 12
  • 13. Give volunteers authority 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 13
  • 14. Authority for Volunteers • Authority to accomplish the role – Budget – Span of control- when must they check-in before making a decision-making – Reporting & communication requirements – Communicate role to others in organization 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 14
  • 15. Define All Responsibilities Clearly • Position Descriptions for individuals • Task descriptions for Committees and Work Groups • Clear Description of expected results and time frames • Always appoint a single person responsible 2/2/2014 • “To Do” list at the end of the meeting minutes • Responsibility Flow Chart • Process, not results JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 15
  • 16. Flow Chart Public Request In Writing Staff Receives Committee Reviews and Recommends Action to Board Board Reviews and Recommends Action Budget 2/2/2014 Implementation JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 16
  • 17. Train Volunteers • History • Language of your organization • Values and Mission • Expectations for the position • Annual Calendar of organization 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 17
  • 18. Volunteer Accountability • Performance Reviews • Evaluation of the Work Plan • Personal Conversation • Reward and Recognition for Excellence • Clear, regular Communication 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 18
  • 19. There’s an App for That…. 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 19
  • 20. ….and a book! 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 20
  • 21. CREATE A CULTURE OF MISSION AND GRATITUDE 2/2/2014 JWL Consulting judith@judithlindenau.com 21

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