How To Motivate Your Volunteers

Volunteers are an essential piece to a successful association structure. A volunteer program provides a competitive advantage and becomes a membership benefit to those who want to be more involved. A common issue associations run into after they build up a solid volunteer base is keeping volunteers motivated. Here are some ways that can help keep a volunteer program operating at a high level:


Asking a volunteer if they are interested in a certain role can work wonders. If you don’t ask, they may think they aren’t qualified or may not be aware of the opportunity at all. This is most effective when you truly know your volunteer base. When you know your volunteers personally, you learn their strengths and weaknesses, which helps know what roles they would excel in. What happens if the association is too large to know all the volunteers personally? This issue can be solved through surveys and data collection. If a member shows interest in volunteering, a simple form can be sent to them that will allow them to tell you about themselves. Being asked to volunteer can make people feel needed and in turn, motivate them to help.

Know the Roles

It’s important to be transparent with someone who wants to volunteer their time to the association. Be honest with time commitment. It can be discouraging for someone to commit to a role that turns out to require more time than they anticipated. It can also be discouraging if it isn’t everything they thought it would be. To make sure volunteers remain motivated, be sure the roles are well defined on the front-end.

Evaluate Role Responsibilities

Another way volunteers can become unmotivated is if they feel like they are working in a role that no longer matters. To avoid this, continually evaluate the association’s needs and how existing roles fit into the vision of the association. Volunteers are donating their time. If they feel like their time is being wasted on a role that is no longer important, it can cause them to rethink how they want to spend their time.

Set Clear Goals

Many people are motivated by goals. Without goals, there is nothing to look to as a standard of excellence. Setting clear goals for volunteer roles is an essential step in keeping volunteers motivated. Goals create a way for volunteers to know their work matters and measure how effective they are being in their role.

A solid volunteer base is essential to any successful association. If you are wanting to grow your list of committed volunteers, our new free e-book is available now for download. Once you gather an effective group of volunteers, make sure to keep them motivated so the association can continue its growth and effectiveness.