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Increase Volunteer Retention with Rewards and Recognition

Older couple having a good time in a bumper car

Doesn’t everyone like a little competition? The feeling of accomplishment is invaluable. Adding rewards and recognition to your volunteer management program can create a sense of accomplishment for your volunteers and increase volunteer retention for your nonprofit. Here are a few valuable ways you can reward and recognize your volunteers:

Design Gear

Volunteers join your organization to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They want to be a symbol for your cause. They want to share your mission with their peers. A great way to do so could be by rewarding them with gear or branded clothing.

Your organization can design gear specifically for your rewards program. If the gear or clothing stands out from the rest, this may drive more volunteer engagement. Volunteers want to feel special and that they are truly making a difference with your organization.

This not only encourages your volunteers’ involvement with your nonprofit, but it is a great way to build brand awareness. It is a win-win for everyone.

Organize Special Events

Hosting special events for your volunteers is another great way to reward them. Make your volunteers feel special and pampered for all of their hard work. This doesn’t have to be an expensive event, but it can be impactful if executed correctly. Here are a few event ideas:

  • Spa day – Create a day where your volunteers can relax and enjoy some r & r.
  • Outdoor activity day – Design a day where you can do team building and encourage your volunteers to step outside their comfort zones.
  • Seasonal event- Create a quarterly event based on the season (picking pumpkins at a pumpkin patch).

Partner with Another Organization

Partnering with another organization can save your nonprofit time and money. For an example pairing with your local amusement park could be mutually beneficial depending on your nonprofit’s cause.

You could exchange a day of volunteering with them for a day at the park. Not only would this be a great way to get involved with the community, but it would inspire your volunteers to give more of their time.

Do your research and find opportunities in your community. Partnering with different organizations can help with your rewards program and spread your mission.

Create a Leader Board

Have you ever been involved in a competition? How many times a day did you check your ranking in regards to your competition? Most likely you checked your position often. It motivated you to do better each day. Whether it was for a sports team or a company you worked for, it was probably important to you to do well.

Displaying a leader board can do the same thing. Your leader board could be digital or it could be displayed in your office. You want your volunteers to be able to see where they rank in comparison to their peers. Making it visible to everyone will encourage more friendly competition.

Share Accomplishments

Sometimes volunteers don’t need rewards to still feel accomplished. Simply mentioning their name can be motivation enough. Mentioning your top volunteers in your marketing efforts can encourage volunteer retention. Here are a few areas you could mention your top volunteers:

  • Social media channels
  • Monthly newsletters
  • Email blasts
  • Promotional flyers for upcoming events

Rewards and recognition are great ways to increase volunteer retention. There are many ways to make your volunteers feel valued. Tailoring your own Volunteer Recognition Program could be just what your organization needs in order to build a larger volunteer base. Show your volunteers you appreciate their time and they will continue to share your mission. Click here for more information and schedule your free demo.

About Ashley Chorpenning

Ashley Chorpenning is VolunteerHub's Marketing Communications Specialist.

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