Tips to Retain Quality Volunteers

Every nonprofit organization should have volunteer development plan. It begins with a “job description” for every volunteer opportunity. The job description should begin by outlining the specific tasks the volunteer would be expected to perform. It would also include such items as the average number of hours required in a week. Must the work be done in the office or can it be done in he volunteer’s home?

Have potential volunteers fill out an application form.  The form would include previous volunteer efforts.  It would also include a question about the volunteer’s skills and interests.

Make sure to conduct an in-person interview with every potential volunteer.  By asking good questions, you can get a sense of the applicant’s  attitude as well as their skills. Do not accept any volunteer who has a negative attitude.

Develop an orientation program for each new group of volunteers. One part would be information about the agency.  Another would be specific information on the tasks assigned to each volunteer.

Let each volunteer know what steps to take if they can not undertake an assignment.

Make sure each volunteer has a supervisor.  The supervisor would give each volunteer assignments and would give them the tools to help perform their tasks.

Contact each volunteer on a regular basis, perhaps monthly or quarterly, to obtain any recommendations from them.  Try to implement any recommendations they make.

Encourage volunteers to attend training programs to improve their skills.

Thank volunteers on a regular basis for their work, Thanks might take a form of a note to an individual volunteer or a recognition dinner for all volunteers.

Keep careful records of the time spent by each volunteer and the assignments they have undertaken.  This information will prove invaluable in giving the volunteers new assignments.

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