Students make up a large portion of the volunteer workforce, making them a vital resource to college events, nonprofits, and festivals. Retaining student volunteers year over year as they graduate is a top priority for the organizations that rely on them. A critical factor in retaining any workforce is good management; that's why we have put together five tips for managing college student volunteers.
1 – Show Gratitude
College students are a busy bunch. Between school, work, and volunteering their time is valuable. Show them gratitude by respecting their time. If they sign up for a volunteer shift make sure you have proper coverage to follow up, and they will surely become a valuable and reliable asset to your organization time and time again.
2 – Create a Community
Give your volunteers a sense of community and camaraderie along with their fellow volunteers and event staff. Organize social meetups or gatherings with volunteers to help them develop connections with your staff and one another. By making them feel they truly are a part of something greater than themselves they will continue to dedicate their time and energy to your organization and its cause.
Are you planning a volunteer management program for college sporting event? Make sure to check out - The Ultimate Volunteer Management Guide For College Sporting Events
3 - Give Them the Tools to Succeed
The current generation of college students wants access to information quickly and efficiently. Integrating an application such as InitLive with your current volunteer management strategy will allow your volunteers to stay up to date with scheduling, locations, and changes thus eliminating confusion. This will ensure an efficient, reliable, and instantaneous way to communicate with your volunteers and staff. No need to worry about making individual contacts with the use of an application; your organization can notify everyone on a specific project at once and make sure no one gets left out of the loop.
4 – Feed Your Volunteers
Food and proper hydration can be often overlooked in Volunteering events. However, in the college community especially this is a big incentive and one that will determine whether or not these volunteers will continue to return. Events can often mean long hours sometimes exposed to the outside elements. Make sure you are providing your volunteers the sustenance to stay happy, hydrated and putting force their best face representing your organization.
5 – Set Goals and Offer Incentives
Give your college student volunteers tangible goals that they can work towards attaining. Create a points or rewards system to give them something to work towards. The incentive does not have to be something extravagant but rather a token of appreciation and recognition of their hard work on behalf of your organization.