Fighting Hunger Together: Creating More Volunteer Engagement


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How long do volunteers usually stay with your program? Do you struggle with keeping them interested, involved and engaged? This webinar will help you think about new strategies and help you evolve your program to include new roles and responsibilities for volunteers, pathways for more involvement and leadership positions in your program, how recognition plays a role in retention, and the importance of including continuing education and professional development to keep your volunteers engaged. Tools to help you evaluate your program implement new ideas will be provided.

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Fighting Hunger Together: Creating More Volunteer Engagement

  1. 1. Create More VolunteerEngagementTo hear this presentation by phone dial(909) 259-0022Access Code: 818-156-477Jennifer Bennett, CVA, Senior Manager, Education & TrainingMatt Wallace, Senior Associate, Nonprofit RelationsFollow the conversation on Twitter! Use #VMLearn
  2. 2. 2VolunteerMatch Overview“VolunteerMatch strengthens communities by making it easier for good peopleand good causes to connect.”90,518 nonprofits… 72,350 Active Opportunities…. 6,539,351 referrals since 1998• VolunteerMatch has been around for 14 years, and is the top-ranked website for online volunteerrecruitment and employee-volunteer programs• Our Learning Center offers over 20 webinar topics focused on volunteer management andVolunteerMatch tools, serving an audience of over 6,000 attendees each year
  3. 3. VolunteerMatch & Walmart:Fighting Hunger TogetherWhat are our goals?• Support nonprofit organizations that are working to endhunger in local communities.• Provide hunger relief organizations with the resourcesthey need to deploy, manage and expand their volunteerengagement program.• Support, train and share best practices for engagingvolunteers, and creating a multi-faceted relationship withvolunteers – donors, advocates.• Increase visibility of the need for volunteers at hungerrelief organizations.3
  4. 4. Agenda• Where can volunteers go in your program?• Keys to evolving your program•Creating involvement, flexibility and a connection withvolunteers•Tools for evolving your program•Things to think about•Questions
  5. 5. Where do your volunteers go?What does your volunteer program look like to avolunteer?• Cul-de-sac•Nowhere to go when you get there• Country Road•If you hang in there it goes somewhere, eventually• Highway•It’s a direct route to impact and engagement
  6. 6. Keys to Evolving your Program• Develop work that is meaningful to the volunteer andimportant to the organization.• Create a connection between volunteers, clients andyour mission• Establish the foundation necessary to support a diverseprogram of volunteer engagement• Know and share the impact of the work volunteers do
  7. 7. Create more Involvement• Training and experience pathways• Do volunteers know what they need to do to be ableto fill each role in your program?• Is it clear how that happens, or is it mysterious orbased on longevity?• Do you offer those classes or have on the jobexperience checklists?• Leadership positions• Do you have opportunities for volunteers to moveinto leadership roles? In your program? In theorganization?• Shift leaders, committee leaders, subject matterexperts, pro bono consultants
  8. 8. Create more Flexibility• Are there different types of opportunities ordifferent levels of involvement available?• One size doesn’t fit all• Doesn’t allow for growth or retraction as avolunteer’s life changes• Do you offer project based opportunities, virtualopportunities• Bring more positions into your volunteerengagement program• Let volunteers help you!• Volunteers know the work that volunteers do -empower them to document or create the foundationand flexibility you need.
  9. 9. Create more Understanding• Keep volunteers informed• New ideas or theories in your impact area• New policies, practices or projects in your program• Milestones in your organization• Incorporate impact into recognition• Don’t just say thank you - share the work thevolunteer has done• Include clients in the thank you message• Spread the thank you outside of your volunteerprogram - Social media, internal and externalcommunications
  10. 10. Create the ConnectionTurn your volunteers into Advocates!• Do volunteers know your mission?•Major accomplishments, funders• Do they know about other programs?• Areas and impacts besides their own• Empower them to spread the word• Keep them up to date• Use social media• Do you know which of your volunteers are also donors?
  11. 11. Tools for Evolving your Program• Think strategically!• Do you have a 3 or 5 year plan for your program?• Get off the hamster wheel• What type of program do you have now?• What type of program do you want to have?• Where and why do volunteers drop out?• Ask them!• Survey past and current volunteers about what theylike, are proud of, don’t understand about your program• Don’t do this alone!
  12. 12. Tools for Evolving your Program• Start with the easy (easier?) stuff• Create or document the structure that exists now• Identify volunteer position descriptions, how they fittogether, what volunteers need to know to do them.• Create more flexibility• What did your volunteers tell you they wanted to do,but couldn’t - so they left?• Where does the rigidity come from? You, organizationleadership, the past, or perceived ideas aboutvolunteers?• Create a communication plan to turn volunteers in toadvocates
  13. 13. Things to Think About• You don’t have to change everything right now• Putting pathways in is an easier first step• Identify the priorities or critical positions• Invite volunteers to take on leadership roles• Volunteers want to tell you what they like (and don’tlike) about your program• Invite your superstar volunteers to take the lead• Share your milestones and successes with theorganization•Manager, leadership, co-workers and, of course, thevolunteers!
  14. 14. 14ResourcesFighting Hunger Together CenterFind upcoming webinar dates, how-to videos and morehttp://learn.volunteermatch.orgVolunteerMatch CommunityAsk and answer questions after the webinar – use keywords Fighting Hunger Together,Volunteer Management
  15. 15. 15Thanks for attending!Join us online:Like us on Facebook: us on Twitter: @VolunteerMatchVisit Engaging Volunteers, our nonprofit blog: any questions contact:Jennifer Bennett(415)