Volunteers are the foundation of any non-profit. If you don’t have new volunteers coming into the mix on a regular basis, you’re missing a key leadership development opportunity to bring in new ideas, new opportunities and even new revenue. Here are three quick ways to increase volunteerism in your association:
Communicate the Value
How is your association talking about volunteer opportunities? Is messaging full of phrases like “donate your time,” “volunteer now” or something similar? The way opportunities are presented is important. Think about what is valuable to association members and talk about volunteering in the same way. Volunteering is a way for members to lead within the association and position themselves as thought leaders in the industry. Communicating the value of specific volunteer roles will increase interest and recruit members who have similar goals.
Identify Potential Volunteers
General volunteer callouts will capture the most engaged in associations, but what about those who are new to the industry, think they are too busy or don’t think they are qualified to help? The value has been communicated and now it is time to add another step to the recruitment funnel. A personal invitation is an effective way to reach this member audience and let them know their involvement and input is important to the association. A personal conversation creates the opportunity to address questions and share exactly what volunteering means for your association. Learn how to identify interests and potential volunteers in our blog on this topic here.
Celebrate the Wins
Communicating value and personal outreach may get more volunteers involved, but recognition and appreciation will keep them around. Did the conference committee create next year’s logo? Did a work group create a new study guide for your industry credential? Work like this is important to recognize. Social media and e-newsletters are a great space to do this. Going back to the second point – personal outreach from association staff is another way to show volunteers they are appreciated.
Celebrations can also serve as a recruitment tool. If a member is on the fence about volunteering, a celebration of volunteers may be the motivation they need to apply. Want more ideas? Here are 10 Quick Tips for Saying Thank You.
Learn more on this topic by downloading our e-book, “The 5 Reasons You’re Not Getting New Volunteers (And What Your Association Can Do About It).