Boosting volunteer morale can lead to a more engaged volunteer workforce, and an engaged volunteer workforce can achieve program goals. Here are 9 cost-efficient ways to boost volunteer morale.
When morale is high, goals are achieved. The same principal applies to the volunteer workforce that your organization utilizes to reach its mission. Without focusing on maintaining positive morale, volunteers can quickly become burned out and unmotivated, leading to low retention rates. There are many things that your organization can do to boost volunteer morale. Here are our top 9 suggestions.
One of the best ways to gain visibility into volunteer satisfaction and moral is through surveys. Surveying volunteers can help you identify areas of your program that are strong and other areas that could use improvement. Asking volunteers for feedback can also fuel motivation and create engagement.
Here are a few volunteer satisfaction survey questions that your organization should ask:
- How would you rate your overall experience as a volunteer?
- How likely would you recommend our volunteer program to your friends and family?
- Do you feel valued as a volunteer at our organization?
- Do you feel appreciated as a volunteer at our organization?
- Do you plan to continue to volunteer with our organization?
Here are 10 more questions that your organization should ask on your volunteer satisfaction survey.
Meet and Listen to Volunteers
Creating surveys is important, but it is not a substitute for meeting with volunteers in-person, if possible. Your volunteer coordinator can boost morale by getting to know volunteers on a personal level. These meetings do not need to be formal or long, just a quick chat to understand how a volunteer is doing and if they are enjoying their experience, will suffice.
Actively meeting with volunteers creates engagement and can provide your organization and its volunteers with value. Chances are, volunteers will be more open about their feelings if they have a direct relationship with someone within your organization, such as your volunteer coordinator.
Set Goals, Share Wins
Your volunteers want to see your organization exceed goals, that is why they are volunteering in the first place. Many volunteers have experience with the issues that your nonprofit aims to solve. In fact, 18% of people volunteer for a cause that relates to their family needs. Motivate volunteers, reduce turnover, and boost morale by setting goals and sharing wins.
Reward and Recognize
Implementing a reward and recognition program is another strategic way to show volunteers that your organization cares about their contributions. Below are a few resources that we have created to help you develop a reward and recognition program that keeps volunteers engaged and boosts morale.
Increase Volunteer Retention with Rewards and Recognition
Add Gamification to Your Volunteer Recognition Program
3 Ways to Increase Volunteer Engagement with Gamification
It may seem like a small gesture, but thanking volunteers goes a long way in boosting morale by making them feel appreciated. You can thank volunteers in a variety of ways including saying thank you in-person, writing thank you notes, automating thank you emails after shifts, or hosting thank you events.
Here are 25 ways to thank volunteers for providing their valuable time.
Inspire Volunteers with Your Vision
Your mission and vision should be the foundation of everything your nonprofit does. Make sure that your volunteers know that they are making a difference, regardless of the opportunity they are fulfilling. You can inspire volunteers by reminding them of their importance and how their contributions impacts the community. Relaying this message can be achieved through a variety of channels including in-person, email, text, and social media.
Here are some additional tips on inspiring volunteers.
Promote & Build Skills
Just because volunteers are unpaid doesn’t mean that they don’t want to learn new skills or move up the ladder. In most cases, the opposite is true. In fact, 23% of volunteers contribute their time to learn new skills that can help them in their career or job search. By providing your volunteers with value, you can quickly boost morale. Promoting volunteers is another way to make them feel valued, avoid burnout out, and re-spark motivation. You can promote your best volunteers by providing them with more responsibility or suggesting new opportunities you think they would excel in.
Provide Volunteers with Training
Effective training is one of the most important components of any volunteer program. Your organization needs to provide volunteers with information if you want them to be successful. The most effective training programs set a welcoming atmosphere, reinforce mission, outline expectations, and communicate procedures. Make sure that after training, volunteers have a point-person for communication. Having an organized process for training, communication, and volunteer support is a great way to boost morale and stay organized.
Check out these 7 elements of a successful volunteer training program.
Build Friendships & Make Volunteering Fun
Volunteerism should be fun and an opportunity for people to build life-long friendships. Your organization can make volunteering a memorable experience by helping to foster these friendships and through team-building. Why not make team-building exercises a component of your training program? Did you know that a fully engaged team can lead to twice the productivity?
Here are some ways to make volunteering fun at your organization.
With 33% of volunteers not returning for another shift, there has never been a more important time for your organization to focus on boosting morale. Some of our favorite ways to boost volunteer morale include creating satisfaction surveys, setting goals and sharing wins, creating a reward and recognition program, providing effective training, building skills, and developing friendships.
How does your organization boost volunteer morale?