There's absolutely nothing better than a repeat volunteer. They're knowledgeable, friendly, reliable, and they engage others in the community with the mission. But how do you go about turning a one-time volunteer into a recurring visitor? Check out our four tips on keeping your volunteers engaged:
1. Minimize Stress
While many people volunteer in order to help others, studies have shown that volunteering is beneficial for all parties. In fact, researchers have found that volunteering decreases stress and combats depression.
Work with those happy feelings instead of against them by making volunteering a positive and stress-free experience. Make your incoming volunteers feel welcome immediately. Keep the event streamlined and organized through event communication software. Minimize stress by letting all your volunteers know where you should be at all times. Consider using a handbook so that your volunteers immediately know where they're supposed to be.
2. Involve the Community
Although many volunteers give their time for the sake of kindness and philanthropy, it always feels great to be appreciated. Social media and digital engagement offer a great way to achieve these ends. After and during the event, consider posting pictures to social media like Instagram or Facebook.
This does double duty for your volunteers by making them feel appreciated and recognized, and also involving them in community with other volunteers who may be tagged in the same posts they are. This could create a ripple effect through your volunteers' friends and families as well, and help boost involvement by involving community.
3. Show results
People volunteer for causes that are near and dear to their hearts. They don't just want approval and the rush of good feelings caused by volunteering; they want to know that their actions actually made a difference. So make sure that your volunteers see that during and after the event.
Say you have a group of volunteers doing environmental clean-up. Make sure that those volunteers receive before-and-after photos so they can see the effects of their work. Or perhaps your volunteers are building homes for those in need? Consider getting testimonials from those they helped, and sending them to the volunteers afterwards. This way, they'll see the tangible results of their efforts and they might be compelled to continue volunteering.
4. Communication is key
Aside from the importance of communication prior to and during the event, it's also important to communicate with volunteers after the event has ended. Partnering with a communication software can help you send text messages, reminders, and notifications to event volunteers, keeping them in the loop with your upcoming events.
Think about it: how are they going to volunteer if they don't know when the opportunity is going to arise again. People want to help. Make it easy for them to help by keeping them involved in your communications.
It's always great to find new volunteers for your organization, but it's even more exciting to see those familiar faces as they become more and more invested in your great cause. Volunteer management software can help you smooth every aspect of the volunteering experience - so you'll be sure to attract repeat and happy helpers.