Keeping volunteers motivated and engaged will increase their value to your nonprofit over time. Here are 10 ways to motivate volunteers to give regularly.


What process and tactics does your nonprofit take and deploy to motivate volunteers? Is your organization enticing volunteers to continue to provide their time? These are just a few questions your nonprofit should be asking itself regularly and measuring strategy effectiveness. Deploying and testing ways to motivate volunteers can have a substantial impact on your organization’s bottom line and ability to reach and hopefully surpass goals.


Does your nonprofit know the value of a volunteer hour and the ROI of retaining supporters? According to an Independent Sector study, each volunteer hour donated is worth $24.69. If your nonprofit is not motivating volunteers to continue to fill opportunities chances are you are missing out on serious value and not optimizing your volunteer program to its full potential.


Motivating volunteers is easier than your organization may think. Here are 10 ways to motivate volunteers to provide their time and value on a regular basis.


10 ways to motivate volunteers


Streamline registration

Making the volunteer registration process easy and effective is a great way to motivate supporters to sign-up and share your organization’s opportunities. In today’s tech-savvy world offering volunteers an online option for registration is a must. Deploying volunteer management software can provide your nonprofit with the tools it needs to promote, recruit, and manage volunteer data effectively.

Learn more about VolunteerHub’s volunteer registration features


Provide quality induction and training

One of the first touchpoints that volunteers have with your nonprofit comes in the form of induction and training. Effective training can reinforce a supporters motivation for giving in the first place. Your organization should use your volunteer training program as an opportunity to create a welcoming atmosphere, produce a memorable introduction, re-enforce your mission, and provide supporters with important connections.


Make resources available

Providing volunteers with the resources they need should not stop after induction. Your organization should continually provide supporters with training opportunities, resources that emphasis mission, and the support and tools necessary to fill opportunities to the best of their abilities.


Communicate often and effectively

Effective communication with volunteers is key. Communicating new opportunities, organizational impact, and appreciation is a great way to motivate supporters to continue to give their time. Communication can also help your organization remind and notify registered volunteers about an upcoming commitment. Remember to communicate early, often, and in a variety of ways.

Here are a few things to remember to communicate with volunteers:

  • Success stories demonstrating your mission.
  • Success stories demonstrating volunteer impact.
  • Organizational updates.
  • New and existing opportunities that need to be filled.
  • Volunteer events (networking, award ceremonies, meet and greets)
  • Fundraising opportunities/requests.

Learn more about VolunteerHub’s volunteer communication features


Be accessible

Being available and accessible when volunteers have a question or concern is yet another easy way to motivate them. Remember, volunteers are making a sacrifice to provide your organization with their time and they expect to have access to the right contact if an issue arises. Providing volunteers with a quick and easy resolution to their concerns will help push them to provide additional time to your organization in the future.


Be organized and accurate

An organized volunteer program is more appealing to supporters than one that is dysfunctional. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how many nonprofits rely on outdated volunteer management processes that actually push away volunteers from future opportunity fulfillment. Make sure to keep to keep your volunteer database up to date and demonstrate a high level of organization both internally and externally at every stage of a volunteers experience.

Learn more about VolunteerHub’s volunteer database features


Provide feedback

Volunteers, just like any member of the team, want to know how they are doing and any areas of their opportunity fulfillment that could use improvement. Providing volunteer with positive feedback and constructive criticism is a great way to motivate them thru reachable and actionable goals. Do not be afraid to provide both positive reinforcement and tips for improving their performance. Providing volunteers with on-going feedback and evaluation can reinforce positive behavior as well as combat declining performance, tardiness, and no-shows.


Provide learning opportunities

Many volunteers commit their time with hopes of learning new skills and/or developing existing ones. Volunteers have already demonstrated the desire to learn by registering for opportunities with your organization. Allowing volunteers to use and learn skills that will impact your cause (which they are passionate about already) is a sure way to motivate them. Your nonprofit can leverage this desire to learn to create super supporters that can become even more valuable over time.


Leverage common goals 

What motivated your volunteers to give in the first place? Are you targeting volunteer motivations and leveraging common goals? Most volunteers provide their time because they want to give back to the community, meet new people, or fulfill a personal goal. Take the time to sit down with each volunteer and find out what prompted them to give and what they want to achieve. If your organization sees trends in motivations leverage them. Doing so will allow your organization to continue to entice supporters and keep them coming back.


Show appreciation 

One of the most important and obvious ways to motivate volunteers is by showing them appreciation. Appreciation should be a key component of each communication your organization has with volunteers. Actively remind supporters that their commitment has not gone unnoticed and your organization could not reach its goal of greater good without their service. It is key to use appreciation as an avenue to create a positive experience for volunteers. One that they want to share. Your organization can achieve this goal by creating a rewards system for your volunteer program.

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