Make sure your volunteers are getting the most out of your programs. Plus: how to spot signs of poor leadership.
April 10 marked the beginning of National Volunteer Week, a celebration of those who sacrifice their time to help organizations’ ambitious dreams become a reality.
While gifts and speeches can be a great way to show appreciation, one of the best ways to say thank you is to make sure your volunteer programs are as rewarding as possible.
Creating the most beneficial program will depend on the specific goals an association is trying to achieve, however according to VolunteerMark co-founder Andrew Stanley, there are basic guidelines that all industries can adopt.
Letting volunteers take the reins and design their own event is one of the most effective ways to keep volunteers happy and productive. Be it a community-outreach event or a competition, letting your volunteers make decisions will boost their personal investment, which will lead to a positive outcome.
“Walk-a-thons, read-a-thons, bowl-a-thons and ‘a-thons’ of all types can be a fun and affordable way for volunteers to organize grassroots fundraising,” Stanley advises in a post for Nonprofit Hub. “In this way, they would engage their own networks to bring new volunteers and donors into your cause.”
Stanley also recommends getting volunteers to participate in an Instagram competition, in which each individual submits a volunteer-related photo and the person who gets the most “likes” receives a prize.
Tweet of the Day
— MemberClicks (@MemberClicks) April 11, 2016
Unless you’re one of the lucky few who have a steel trap memory, you likely have felt the sense of dread that comes with the realization you have forgotten someone’s name. MemberClicks’ Callie Walker offers some advice on avoiding these awkward encounters.
Other Good Reads
A volunteer with a heart of gold. KCCI, a TV station in Des Moines, Iowa, profiles how one man has spent nearly half a century with the American Heart Association.
Don’t let poor management derail your association. Forbes contributor Mark Murphy uncovers three signs of bad leadership that may slip under your radar.
You may be damaging your engagement with members by making assumptions about their behavior. Informz‘s Vivian Swertinski, in an interview with officials from the Texas Medical Association, finds out how this organization is working to better understand its community.