Effective Volunteer Recruitment & Engagement, presented to Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce ExecutivesPresentation Transcript
Presented by Katherine Swartz, CAE Greater Columbia Chamber of Commercekswartz@columbiachamber.com Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer. ~Author Unknown Volunteer Recruitment & Engagement
Today’s Outline Understanding your issues Why do people and companies volunteer? Why do people stop volunteering? Building managed process to volunteer position development and engagement (with our business members in mind) RMRR: Recruitment, Management, Recognition and Retention Case Study Additional Resources Q&A
Understanding your issues and needs
Think about this. . . . Civil society and the concept of democracy in the United states were born from a spirit of voluntary action and a commitment to bring about change. . . to see a wrong and right it, to imagine what is possible and achieve it. The nonprofit sector provides some of the most meaningful models of what it means to live in a civil society. In turn, effective volunteerism yields benefits that extend beyond individual organizations – to the volunteers themselves, and the people and communities they serve. Advancing business together Advancing the community together Source: A Guide to Investing in Volunteer Resources
Volunteering in the United States Percentage of adults who volunteer: 44% Total number of adult volunteers: 83.9 million Average weekly hours per volunteer: 3.6 hours Total dollar value of volunteer time: $239.2 billion National value of volunteer service hour: $21.36 (2010) Value of volunteer hour in SC: $16.53 It's easy to make a buck. It's a lot tougher to make a difference. ~Tom Brokaw
Why do people and companies volunteer?
Why do volunteers volunteer? Meet a need Contribute expertise Make a difference To feel good or feel connected Build skills Build network Access to broader range of perspectives, skills and resources Because they were asked . . .
The Business Case for Workplace Volunteering They want to “do good” for their community. It fits the company’s traditions and values. It improves reputation and image. It is important to customers that the company demonstrates “good citizenship.” It helps recruit/retain employees. It helps build employee morale and job satisfaction. It helps build teams among diverse employees. It allows employees to develop new skills that are useful in their “real job.” Source: The Points of Light Foundation
Why do people stop volunteering?
Why do people stop volunteering? Poor management (2 out of 5) Competition with other organizations Lack of discretionary time Lack of leadership opportunities They didn’t feel their gift of time made a difference Ineffective use of their time
Let’s build a volunteer program with our chamber business members in mind.
Volunteerism: Accomplishes real work Strengthens democratic and civic values Connect people Sparks creative problem solving Supplements existing resources Provides broader range of perspectives, skills and resources Volunteers are a necessary and critical resource for healthy communities (included within chambers). Volunteers are not “free.” Investment of time and energy on both the volunteer and chamber.
Managed process based on open communication and a spirit of partnership Set your organizational goals. Internally: Agree on scope, schedule, budget, etc. “Business” approach to time: plan, plan, plan Know who on your staff is going to manage the volunteer relationships. And, just as important, who at the company will champion your needs within their organization. Make contact with an interested volunteer/ company. Think early about building a long-term relationship, not just about the one-time transaction.
Align your goals and the volunteer’s/company’s. Be sure the expected ROI is attainable and fair to both sides. Have items available in writing. Make it EASY to get (and stay) involved. Plan, plan, plan… and plan some more. And do it jointly. Implement volunteer team building. Implement the project – the proof of good planning is a plan that works!
The day after? Sorry, you are not done yet! Measure the results against the ROI goals and the specifics of the plan. Results & Reporting Back: obtain and give feedback Celebrate your success. Finally, don’t forget recognition and publicity. Ask them again (and personally) Ask for their referrals
Recruitment >>> Management >>> Recognition >>> Retention How do you recruit volunteers?
Recruitment How-To’s Publicize to all members (transparency) and ask personally Establish a direct connection (think back – why do volunteers volunteer?) Help volunteers see the benefits of volunteering with your Chamber Establish CLEAR expectations Time commitment Roles and responsibilities Resources needed and provided
“Vol” Management Information and Communication: Sets the tone for the decision to volunteer Training: sets the tone for the volunteer experience Three Touch Strategy: before, during and after the volunteer experience Feedback: Lets volunteersknow they have a vested interest in your chamber
Effective Management = Retention Follow through on your commitments Keep an open line of communication Make it clear how volunteers can support your chamber Make it easy for them to get involved Make their experience meaningful Ask for their feedback No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. ~James Allen
Quick & Easy Feedback Survey Would they volunteer again? Did they feel their efforts had a positive impact? Was the event or project well-managed? How were volunteers welcomed? In what ways did the experience meet their expectations or not?
Why recognize? To appreciate them for their work and efforts To motive them to set and accomplish new goals To encourage them so they know what they are doing To publicize to others different projects, programs and activities Ultimately, member satisfaction, renewals and referrals! “Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” - Voltaire
Creative Recognition Tactics Breakfast of Champion Awards, Chamber Partner, ROSE Award (Recognition of Special Effort), AchieveMINT Regular Volunteer of the Month, Quarter or Annual award and feature (peer recognition) President’s Volunteer Service Awards (100+ hours and must apply with a 501(c)3 FEIN Social media: tag photos, shout outs Notecards: ItTakesTwo.com; PositivePromotions.com; Media Releases: best sent with a photo
Award/Event Opportunities Corporate Philanthropy Day (4th Monday in February) Random Acts of Kindness Week (February) National Volunteer Week (April 10-16) Make a Difference Day (4th Saturday in October) National Philanthropy Day (November)
Case Study: Revitalize a Committee This committee (membership segment) has been declining in membership and event participation for the past five years. The committee has struggled recruiting members and getting members to attend regular meetings. Recently, the committee chair and marketing chair resigned due to job changes. The programs for the current year are already planned and the last event is in June, leaving the summer months for planning for next year? What can we do to revitalize this committee and get more volunteers engaged (ultimately more memberships , vent registrations and overall satisfaction)?
Next Steps Don’t panic: stay in regular communication with current committee Research: understand the issues internally Benchmark: with other chambers, associations and NPOs Needs assessment: surveys of current, former and never-been members Referrals: Ask team members, board members and other leaders for referrals. Ask former committee members to serve in an advisory capacity.
Additional Resources EnergizeInc.com E-volunteerism.org IdeaList.org Giraffe.org: people who have the courage to stick their necks out for the common good Caring-Institute.org: promoted the values of caring, integrity, and public service since 198 PointsofLight.org: embraces service and civic engagement as fundamental to a purposeful life and essential to a healthy world. IJOVA.org: International Journal of Volunteer Administration