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The RGI Blog

Five Ways to Make Your Time With Volunteers More Effective

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Volunteers are the engines that help keep many associations running, and it’s important to understand how to make your time count when talking with them.

It’s critical to remember that volunteers have very little, if any, financial incentive for the work they do for the association. They also most likely have full-time jobs and responsibilities outside of the association.

In order to maintain a great working relationship with volunteers, we put together five ways that you can make your time with them more effective:

Make it count: Your volunteers are spending personal time to serve the organization. Providing meaningful work for them to dive into will make this time well-spent away from their other obligations.

Recognize and reward: Most organizations do not pay their volunteers. Make sure you say thank you and recognize them for their service. It doesn’t have to be expensive; a hand written card goes a long way!

Detailed yet simple: Providing detailed yet simple descriptions of opportunities with time commitments, duties, length of service, etc., up front will allow the volunteer to identify the right opportunity for them to serve in.

Variety: Offer a variety of opportunities to allow people to serve no matter what their schedule or life looks like. This prevents your organization from alienating those who don’t have a lot of time.

Mission driven: Every committee, task force and ad hoc group should be working to support the mission of the organization. And if they aren’t? They probably shouldn’t exist.

Volunteers are one of your association’s most valuable assets. Make sure you understand their needs and put yourself in their shoes when considering important decisions that will affect them.