Daily Buzz: Managing Volunteer Burnout

How organizations can give volunteers a meaningful experience. Also: keeping the job search going when career opportunities decrease.

Are volunteers experiencing burnout at your nonprofit? It’s a common affliction among volunteer workers, and one that organizations need to address, says Louis Louw on the VolunteerMatch blog.

“Volunteering is a relationship between the nonprofit and the individual volunteer. So as a nonprofit, how do you set the stage to ensure that you are making it a meaningful experience? It starts with knowing some of the commonly stated causes of volunteer burnout,” he says.

What can be done to fix things? First, take a look at your volunteer onboarding process; a poor onboarding process leaves volunteers confused about their role within the organization, Louw says. To make sure this part of the experience is fun and easy, survey your volunteers about the onboarding process and incorporate their feedback.

Don’t let a perceived lack of appreciation discourage volunteers, either. “Recognizing volunteers for their work will make them feel more appreciated and less likely to be burned out,” Louw says. When they’ve accomplished something, give them praise. This could be in the form of a personal thank-you note, a recommendation letter on LinkedIn, or an event that celebrates their achievements.

Inflexible scheduling can also cause burnout and limit the number of volunteers you have, Louw says. Add more flexibility by incorporating virtual volunteering opportunities or scheduling a few opportunities a month that take place outside of regular business hours.

Job Searching in Tough Times

When hiring opportunities dwindle, the already frustrating task of job searching becomes more difficult. But there are ways to keep your search going when hiring slows down, says Caroline Ceniza-Levine in Forbes.

For one, consider more flexible job arrangements. If an employer is hesitant to commit, offer to start as a temp, to work on a part-time schedule, or to consult on a single project, Ceniza-Levine says.

“This does put more uncertainty on you going forward. However, if it means you start working sooner than later, it may be a worthy trade-off,” she says. “You also get your foot in the door, which can improve your chances of converting into a bigger role later.”

Other Links of Note

A mentoring program can be great for nonprofits—if done right. Blue Avocado contributor Ian Fisk looks at the potential pitfalls of running a mentoring program.

Is your organization using Snapchat yet? A recent post on the Hootsuite blog examines how the app can benefit your business.

Working remotely? There are several ways to impress your audience in a remote sales meeting, says Janel Dyan on Business Insider.

(reidecki/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Michael Hickey

By Michael Hickey

Michael Hickey is a contributor to Associations Now. MORE

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