Volunteering is a lot like exercise - you feel great every single time you do it, but it's really tough to get yourself motivated to get started. Here are eight simple steps on how to incentivize volunteerism so that you can encourage them to keep coming back:
Step 1: Drop all possible barriers to entry.
Take a look at your current practices for signing people up and matching them to their preferred roles. If there are any steps to the process that aren't crucial for legal or organizational purposes, drop them.
Step 2: Streamline communication and task management.
Print custom t-shirts, to clearly communicate who's part of your team. Badges, hats, and lanyards are all great ways to remind your volunteers that you value their individual presence on the team.
Step 4: Keep it positive.
Since you can't control everybody's mood, you have to focus on yours. Always project a positive vibe. It's infectious.
Step 5: Don't be rude, give them food.
There's something about getting fed that always excites people. From janitors to CEOs, everybody loves to walk into a room with a spread of good food ready to eat. It keeps their energy up, and it's an excuse for a quick break.
Step 6: Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Whenever you have even a second to spare, thank your volunteers for their effort. If someone looks stressed out, give them extra attention. These little interactions add up, and even if they aren't specifically remembered, they contribute to the feeling of an overall positive experience that people want to return to.
Step 7: Track who did what and commend them for their work.
Simply acknowledging, "you did this," can completely change how someone views a day of work. Try to have a good grasp on who was responsible for which tasks, and let people know as a group if possible. To learn more about creating a strategy for tracking and collecting event team data, check out this infographic!
InitLive User Tip: You can do this quickly by filtering your volunteer/staff list by role and sending that entire group a message. You can also pull a report any time to remember who did what task.
Step 8: Give them something to remember you by.
Set aside some funds to get small gifts for your volunteers, and hand them out right at the end. It's fun to get gifts, and the objects serve as a little reminder that, "hey, I did something that day."
Following these tips will help volunteers make a positive choice when faced with that moment before deciding whether to work. If they spend more time considering everything that felt great and went right, they'll keep coming back.
For more tips to help get people excited about volunteering for your event, be sure to check out our Volunteer Guide for Hospitality at Events here! For all of your volunteer management needs, learn about how InitLive can help.
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