Daily Buzz: Show Volunteers Their Impact

Most people volunteer because they want to make a difference. Show yours their impact to keep them engaged. Also: What is “content”?

Volunteers make the nonprofit world go round—but if they don’t see the effects of their work, you risk losing them. Michael Jung on the VolunteerMatch blog shares four strategies you can use to help them understand their impact.

Build impact awareness into training. “For instance, when training volunteers to work with traumatized children, educators can spotlight children who regained their mental health thanks to past volunteers who followed their protocols of active listening and encouragement,” Jung says. “When volunteers have this awareness, they perceive how their actions benefit others, even if they don’t see the results immediately.”

Translate statistics into measures of success. “Sure, it’s great letting your volunteers know they donated 500 hours this year. But what do these numbers mean to your volunteers?” Jung asks. “Include photos with statistics to make your impact more tangible—stating your organization provided medical care for 5,000 children is more powerful when illustrated by a photo of just a couple of those smiling children.”

Let volunteers know how you, your staff, and your community feel about their work. Compliment their efforts and show appreciation when appropriate. If a member survey comes back with kudos to volunteers, be sure to share that with them.

Offer opportunities to commit long term. “Volunteers who participate in one-time events are valuable, but rarely see the effects of their work. But volunteers who commit to long-term programs see the results of their efforts over time,” Jung says. “Not all volunteers can commit to long-term programs. But by offering them, volunteer work becomes more meaningful—and inspires volunteers to stay with a program.”

Content’s Many Faces


If you try to define “content,” you’ll likely come up with a range of answers. That’s because “content” is not one specific thing. It could be an article, webinar, member newsletter, and so on, say The Membership Guys on their latest podcast (another form of content, for those keeping track). And the most successful membership sites leverage content in its many forms.

“It’s important to get the balance right between offering enough variety and overwhelming people with too much content,” they say. “The key is to focus on the problem you’re solving and identify the best way to deliver the solution—everything stems from there.”

Other Links of Note

Can you really measure member loyalty? Emily Roseman of The Membership Puzzle Project breaks down how some companies do it.

So you’ve got a TV interview coming up. The Nonprofit Marketing Guide shares tips on how to be your best on camera.

When a user visits your website, balancing their privacy with customized experiences can be tough. But you can do both, says Gabe Morazan on CMSWire.

(khonkangrua/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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