5 Ways to Engage Volunteers

5 Ways to Engage Volunteers

The recruitment, engagement and retention of volunteers is one of the biggest challenges faced by Fundraising Directory readers.  Today we’ll take a look at 5 ideas that can help with one of these aspects – volunteer engagement.

1. Feed and water them! A cuppa and morning tea go a long way to creating a pleasant environment to engage volunteers.

2. Make it fun. One of the most rewarding aspects of fundraising is the friendships that are made.   An active commitment should be made by existing committee members to be welcoming and friendly, even when the natural tendency is to hang out with the people you are comfortable with. The harder you try to make that new person feel welcome every time, the better your fundraising efforts will be.

3. Seek out and listen to ideas. Nothing screams ‘you are important’ more than asking what people think, or if there are any little ideas they can add to existing plans. Make a deliberate effort through your decision-making processes to stop and invite input.

4. Reward them.  This can be in the form of reduced fees (if this is allowed under your rules) or a volunteer raffle.  A volunteer raffle involves a ticket being given out each time someone volunteers, and each month a prize is drawn.  The prize can be a $20 voucher donated by a local coffee shop.

5. Profuse thanks! It is critical to make your volunteers feel special.   It can be as simple as a verbal ‘thank you’, a mention in the newsletter or an announcement on assembly.  One lovely idea for schools is to get the volunteer’s child/ren to present a ‘thank you’ certificate on assembly.   This makes the children feel amazing, which is often all the reward a parent needs.

Following these suggestions to engage volunteers will go a long way to ensuring that they are happy and feel valued and most importantly that they will continue to be part of your committee.

Happy Fundraising!

Mandy Weidmann

Originally published August 30,2016

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