Many of you are professionals in volunteer engagement and administration, and eagerly anticipate the return of volunteer activity to a level that we enjoyed before COVID changed so much – or even higher levels than that. As vaccinations increase and the pandemic becomes less of a deciding factor in what volunteers can do in their service and how many volunteers can be out there, it’s a good opportunity to keep in mind what it takes to attract and retain good volunteers. Consider the following points, from Network For Good.
And if you are a volunteer or would like to be, the list can help you decide where you want to devote your time and energy.
- People look for ways to support the causes and issues important to them. Do the Website and other communication vehicles clearly and concisely describe the mission and why it matters?
- People want to use their skills. Does the onboarding process allow volunteers and applicants to identify those skills, and find a home for them in the organization?
- Some people also like the opportunity to learn something new. Do veteran volunteers train new ones? That practice reinforces the veteran’s own knowledge, while broadening the skills of the new volunteer.
- Is there flexibility in scheduling? Volunteers have other obligations and interests and might be hesitant to commit to a rigid schedule. If they aren’t told that schedules are flexible, they might not ask.
- Do volunteers have to qualify? Volunteers are human resources, as much as paid staff are. They need to qualify in order to be part of the organization. This process can include background screening tailored to the volunteer’s specific responsibilities. It’s part of the due diligence great organizations practice.
- Are families welcome? This might make the difference, for busy people who want to spend time with their kids (and set an example of good citizenship.)
- “I never thought of that.” For all its hurt, the pandemic has been an opportunity for many organizations to design new volunteer roles, including many forms of virtual volunteering. The organization should always be imagineering.
VIS offers a variety of resources to help manage the risk of volunteer engagement, available to you 24/7, for an annual membership fee of only $25. Join now.
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!