Motivating Volunteers. Remember the “ates”

Volunteers are vital and a lot of nonprofits struggle to keep their volunteers engaged. Here are some “ates” to help volunteers feel valued and motivated.

Communicate. Although you have a collective mission, volunteers may have
their own motivations for contributing. Get to know your volunteers so that you can get an idea of the direction they want to go with their service.

Accommodate. Volunteers use their personal time to support your
organization. Remember this when something comes up and they can’t work
their usual times. Being flexible shows how much you care about them.

Demonstrate and Appreciate. Train your volunteers just like you would any
employees. Show them how you want things done and let them know you value
their contribution. Let them know that you are there for questions and don’t expect them to know it all immediately.

Update. With regular updates and conversations, volunteers will feel more included. They want to know what is happening in your organization. Fill them in. Share the successes and seek their perspective and advice, when
appropriate.

Congratulate and Celebrate. Set interim goals and checkpoints and recognize their being achieved. This helps volunteers feel like they are making a difference. When a hurdle is overcome, congratulate your volunteers. Let them know how important their efforts are to
the organization. Celebrating these achievements boosts morale and keeps
them coming back!
(From Volunteer Training by Dr.Mimi Hull)