Quality Volunteer Management Begins in 3D

November 10, 2023 Gina Huff l Arête Purpose Consulting

Quality Volunteer Management Begins in 3D

It’s easy to have the mentality that any warm body will do but that kind of desperate mindset will bite you in the end.

When envisioning that ideal volunteer, it helps to see them in 3D:

  • Dependable
  • Dedicated
  • Delighted

Here’s a breakdown of what proves to be most effective in each of these “D’s”.

Finding a DEPENDABLE volunteer starts with thorough screening which includes:

  • Carefully crafted interview questions with behavior-based scenarios, specific to your setting, educate and inform both people in the process. Interviewing shows the perspective volunteer that you take the job seriously even though it’s an unpaid position.
  • Make sure all duties are clearly explained and documented upfront.
  • Do reference checks. Seriously consider limited criminal history checks if the volunteer handles cash or works with confidential information of any kind.
  • Have a trial period to see if it’s going to be a good fit for both parties. Assign them to an established volunteer and check back with both people after a few shifts.

DEDICATED volunteers remain your best recruitment tool. Dedication grows when:

  • Management has a clear understanding of what motivates their volunteers. Is it a strong desire to make a difference in the world? Do they need to be social and part of a team? Do they want to acquire new skills for the future? It’s important for supervisors to take a personal interest in these motivations. Align the volunteer experience with what’s most important to them.
  • Volunteers are passionate about the mission of the organization. Share positive stories about the impact your organization is making. Make sure meaning is built into even the most mundane tasks. Always tie their participation back to your mission.
  • They receive consistent and authentic appreciation. Small gifts, expressions of gratitude, and newsletter features throughout the year are effective.

DELIGHTED volunteers stay. Happy volunteers share their positive experience with others.

  • Do your best to shield volunteers from unnecessary stress. Make sure that you and other employees do your best to stay positive. Keep complaints minimal. Low morale is a deal breaker for many volunteers.
  • Do feedback surveys frequently. People who feel heard, feel valued.

Look here for more ways to keep volunteers happy:

Don’t settle for less than your organization deserves. Take time and put on those 3D glasses. You might be  delighted with the outcome.

Gina Huff is a facilitator at Arête Purpose Consulting. 

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