5 ways to increase your volunteer commitment rate:
Pump up your volunteer return rate with simple but effective practices that make it easier for volunteers to get involved and encourage long-lasting participation.
1. Plan ahead! Recruiting committed volunteers is most difficult when requests come at the last minute. With a little preparation, your volunteer management team can bring so many more hands on board by making volunteers aware of opportunities well ahead of time; chances to help become less of an obligation and more of the volunteers' proverbial "life calendar."
Whether it's a shout out via email two months leading up to your event, or the use of social media and eNewsletters the weeks prior, many early reminders keep your group's needs in the back of people's minds.
2. Make signing up to help convenient! Busy schedules mean all volunteers won't always make it to every planning meeting. Lose the paper sign up sheets and give EVERYONE a chance to participate by using free online sign up sheets that are available 24/7 via computer or mobile device. Automated reminders increase commitment by helping volunteers remember when and where they have chosen to help.
3. Be available! Make it clear how potential volunteers can contact you with questions, feedback, concerns and suggestions. When volunteer voices are truly heard, they are more likely to speak up; that type of engagement encourages real participation and greater involvement.
4. Be organized! Whether it is an classroom, an office, or even at a large event, nothing reflects better on a group doing GOOD than great organization. From coordinating volunteers to pulling a volunteer activity off, when volunteers feel 'put to good use,' adherent some sort of schedule and appreciated, they are more likely to return and evolve into loyal, dedicated members of your cause.
5. Live your mission! On the most basic level, volunteer recruitment stems from the need to simply "get work done" to make a difference in the community. More importantly, however, volunteer commitment must grow from a real connection volunteers have not to just your group, but to your cause and effectively your mission. See: 4 Tips for Connecting Volunteers with Your Mission