Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Moderators: JimBoice, MaryF., dianeb, Jennifer M.

Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » February 1st, 2013, 7:26 pm

When members step up and donate their time to support activities, recognition is important. This is a thread where you can share your secrets in the hopes that others can reciprocate your success! :D

The following is a list of ways to informally recognize volunteers:

• Stop by while volunteers are working and talk with each of them
• Smile and call the volunteer by name
• Say – Good Morning, Afternoon, Evening
• Remember birthdays, anniversaries, personal dates of importance
• Designate a “volunteer of the month” regular parking space or other recognition activity
• Keep track of volunteer’s hours for accurate recognition
• Chart accumulated hours for individuals or teams
• Provide a volunteer suggestion box
• Present volunteer of the week, month, and year awards
• Rotate team leadership
• Profile each for a volunteer newsletter
• Orient volunteers and answer all questions
• Provide training opportunities for workshops and conferences
• Use volunteers as trainers of volunteers
• Write “thank-you” notes to their families
• Ask their opinion and really listen
• Accept their individuality
• Give surprise treats to say thank you
• Send “get well” cards
• Tell people they are missed when they are gone
• Arrange discounts in area stores, restaurants, theatres, etc.
• Color code name tags to indicate particular achievements (hours, years, etc.)
• Send flowers/special gift for jobs especially well done
• Send anonymous, humorous cards during hectic times
• Distribute “Handle with care today – fragile” stickers during hectic times
• Leave candy at volunteer work stations
• Send valentines year round
• Hold an appreciation party
• Hold kick-off potluck dinner (could include family)
• Provide breakfast or lunch
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » September 13th, 2013, 2:49 pm

Tips for recuiting and retaining volunteers:

1. Personalize your request. Make the individual feel important. Ask a specific person to do a specific task with a specific beginning and end time. Stick to this amount of time and ask for more next time.

2. Results are best when you contact the member personally.

3. Find out what each person likes to do and always what he or she doesn't like to do. Keep track of these preferences.

4. For new members, pick them up, call to confirm their attendance, meet them at the door, introduce them or anything else you can do to make them comfortable.

5. People volunteer for their reasons, not ours. They will volunteer whenever those needs are met. (Needs could include: recognition, social contact, learn skills, etc.)

6. Make certain that charge, directions, training, materials provided are clear and appropriate to the task. Refreshments can help make the task pleasant.

7. List 10 people who you think might agree to help you in order of how likely they are to say yes. Start asking from the other end of the list with those least likely to say yes and move up.

8. Leave room for requesting less, but at least leave the door open to ask next time. Ask for 4 hours, then 2 hours, etc.

9. Be positive and sincere when asking for help. Consider, "we believe you are the right person for this position." Veteran approach: "As an experienced association leader, your value to us is very high. Will you . . ." Rookie appeal: "We need new people involved. No experience is necessary, just your enthusiasm and energy. . ."

10. Ad hoc requests produce more volunteers. Committees can be the death of an idea and an organization. Volunteer organizations need meaningful activity to survive. Don't ask people to meet if the information can be disseminated by mail or phone. Ask them to meet to make decisions and perform tasks. (Tasks: social activities, training, do something like stuff envelopes or make calls, contact members, etc.)

11. Thank volunteers personally. Make sure they know their personal assistance was important and appreciated.

The number one rule of organizing: "Never do for other people what they can do for themselves."

You don't have to do it all yourself, just see that it is done. Your job is to coordinate many people doing specific tasks.
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » September 13th, 2013, 2:50 pm

What does a volunteer need?

1. A clear, specific, manageable job.

2. A good reason for having to do it.

3. The tools to get it done.

4. Proper training.

5. Written directions.

6. Good working conditions.

7. A deadline.

8. A report to make.

9. Recognition and appreciation.

"Each volunteer has the ability to show up. We handle the rest."
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » September 13th, 2013, 10:16 pm

Why members leave volunteer activities and groups:

-- Burn out.
-- Exclusion.
-- Can't win / can't lose.
-- No growth / boring tasks.
-- No appreciation.
-- External opposition; family opposition.
-- Internal conflicts.
-- Not enough fun.
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » October 25th, 2013, 11:07 am

IDEAS FOR FINDING VOLUNTEERS . . AND GETTING THEM TO WORK!

Most associations have a difficult time finding enough people to work on association committees and projects. Here are a few ideas that have proven successful.

Personalize:

When you need workers, ask for them personally. Few people will volunteer their services. This doesn't mean they don't want to help. People simply like to be asked.

RELY ON FRIENDSHIP:

Have someone they know and trust do the asking. People respond more positively to someone they know. Isn't it harder to say "no" to a friend than a stranger?

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS:

If a person agrees to help, welcome the new volunteer. Establish the feeling of belonging and being needed early. New volunteers lose enthusiasm if they feel neglected or taken for granted.

REDUCE RISKS:

Make the jobs new volunteers are asked to do as nonthreatening as possible. People don't like to take risks. Prime considerations to make when assigning tasks include:

A. How much time will it take each day or week? How long will the project or committee last? People won't sign up for life--so don't overwhelm them!

B. How "public" will the job be? Personal risk increases with the amount of exposure individuals receive. New volunteers often won't agree to get involved in "public tasks" but will do jobs where they are not visible to the community, administration, or school board.

C. How difficult is the work? New volunteers can often be induced to take on more jobs if they first have a few successes to look back on. Start new volunteers with relatively easy tasks and build on such success. Don't ask the new volunteer to take on difficult or complicated jobs too sooon.

D. Value their input! Everyone wants to feel valued and appreciated. All too often, new volunteers offer suggestions that are rejected. When coming up with suggestions or new ideas--give them the ability to follow up on their ideas and suggestions.

STRESS IMPORTANCE:

Make every volunteer feel important. If members believe you're "just looking for people," they'll feel easily replaced and less responsible for the job.

SET TIME LIMITS:

Make sure each job or committee has a defined beginning and end. Let your members know when they'll be able to get "out from under. . ."

START SLOWLY:

Ask new volunteers to do things they can already do--and which they already like to do. Remember, reducing risk for new volunteers is very important.

RELATE FACE TO FACE:

There is no substitute for "face to face" communication. Do all these things in person; don't rely on fliers, letters, email, phone calls, or texts to do your recruiting job.

BE ENTHUSIASTIC:

Stress the importance of the work. People will respond according to your modd and presentation. Don't apologize for or belittle the work. If it wasn't necessary, you wouldn't ask!

SET HIGH STANDARDS:

The members will take their cue from you. Demand more of yourself and you'll get more out of them!

DELEGATE AUTHORITY:

Allow volunteers to do things their way. Delegate the authority to complete a task in the best way the individual knows. Provide suggestions and directions, but allow the volunteer to try something different--even at the risk of failure--so long as the ultimate goal is in sight.

LEAD WITH ASSERTIVENESS:

Deal quickly and directly with those who don't meet the standards of expectations. Be encouraging and offer help, but be prepared to reassign the person if necessary. If failure is tolerated or ignored, others will follow or drop out with a "what's the use" attitude.

REWARD GOOD WORK:

Recognize and reward good work--publically. Remember all work is good work! What you can do will depend on the individual situation, but remember everyone likes a pat on the back. The members receive little "personal" reward from most jobs, and a simple, "thank you" from the association goes a long way. Find ways to thank and reward those who volunteer.

"The best executive is the one who has the sense enough to pick good people to do what he wants done and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with the way they do it." Theodore Roosevelt

:mrgreen:
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » December 18th, 2013, 10:57 am

Nothing beats a warm, heartfelt, and UPBEAT personal invitation. :mrgreen:
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am

Re: Tips for recruiting and retaining volunteers

Postby JimBoice » August 10th, 2014, 8:59 pm

I recently met members of a local who said they distributed "asks" to members that were organized by the length of the time commitment. In this way, members can decide what to volunteer for based on the time that they have available.
Jim Boice
UniServ Field Representative ~ Membership & Organizational Development
New Jersey Education Association
180 West State Street
Post Office Box 1211
Trenton, NJ 08607-1211
609-599-4561 ext. 2236

http://www.facebook.com/NJEAPRIDE
JimBoice
 
Posts: 743
Joined: November 20th, 2012, 11:27 am


Return to Membership Involvement

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest