The third most important reason why people don't volunteer according to our research (Revealing Reality 2019) is not knowing about the opportunities available. Take a look at your club and ask yourself where can people find out about volunteering opportunities. Is there a notice board, is there a specific area on your website?
Do your members know how many volunteers are helping the club run? Why not have a volunteering section on your newsletter informing members of the number of volunteers who have helped out that month and maybe have some short interviews with your volunteers about what they get from volunteering.
Remember that communication takes persistence and a consistent flow of information - not just asking for volunteers. Taking a page from the for-profit world, make sure that you have reasonable expectations for the response rate of your audience. The rule of thumb from marketers is that it can take up to three “touches” before a motivated prospect responds.
Some volunteers enjoy sharing the skills they use during their day job. Others want a change of pace to relax or pursue new skills. Instead of assigning volunteers to jobs, why not let them choose what catches their interest?
The best way to do this is to think digitally. A reliable online volunteer management system allows supporters to view all available volunteer opportunities. In addition, volunteers can self-register from any computer or mobile device. Of course, this type of registration process also saves valuable time for you as a volunteer coordinator.
A recent study shows that simply acknowledging a person’s name allows you to connect with that individual on a deeper level. Use this to leverage your connection with volunteers:
So what makes a winning combination? Start with consistent communication, allow your volunteers to choose their volunteering both the what and when and maintain a personalized touch.