Risk management in any organization involves holding volunteers, as well as employees, accountable for carrying out their responsibilities. What do you do when a volunteer is no longer able or willing to do the job to your standards? Do you have to show them the door? Not always. Sometimes you can assign the volunteer to a new role they can thrive in.
For example, if the volunteer has devoted years of service to the organization, who better to accompany your development person to visit a potential major donor? The volunteer might have diminished skills in whatever they’ve done for years, but will have passion for the mission, and might really appreciate the opportunity to be part of such an important effort. Veteran volunteers who show signs they might be limited in their capabilities for their current responsibilities can still do well if they are reassigned to something new.
Appropriate Tasks and Connection
Survey your existing volunteers to see if there are hidden skills or areas of extra value you might not have thought of originally. Identify your volunteer’s skills and match them with an appropriate project. Consider creating unique projects.
Inspire volunteers to return annually by facilitating an emotional connection with your cause. Invite volunteers to events where your community members are speaking. Reintroducing volunteers to the stories and people they are helping will encourage them to give more.
What Are They Seeking?
Volunteers have diverse motivations so it’s crucial to curate the right opportunity. Don’t waste your volunteer’s time by undervaluing their ability to help. Set ambitious goals so they can stretch themselves. Don’t settle for merely doable. Recognize when volunteers exceed expectations and empower them to contribute even further.
Be sure to communicate with volunteers often. Open dialogue channels to ensure that projects are on track and feedback is provided regularly. Like any of your employees, it’s important that volunteers feel like they are part of the team and are motivated to perform. Ensure they are aware of successes as well as where they can improve. Be respectful in this feedback and be sure to recognize their impact often.
Think Long Term
Think of volunteer projects as an investment in talent. Anytime a willing and worthy individual makes an impact on your organization, take note and brainstorm creative ways to keep them around. When volunteers have an exceptional time working with an organization they continue to support them on other projects, join the board, become an advocate, donate consistently and/or become a lifetime friend and advisor. Be sure to protect your organization with nonprofit volunteer insurance.
Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. (VIS) was established in 1972 for the purpose of providing insurance and risk management services for volunteer-based organizations. In addition to still providing these insurance services today on a nationwide scale, we have expanded to provide noninsurance resources for members to manage their risks and improve their operations. By transferring the volunteer risk exposure to our program, we can help you protect your organization. Contact us today at (800) 222-8920 for more information on our programs and services. Join now!