In this issue I focus on how to bring on more leader volunteers for sustained engagement. When an organization starts out, it often is all volunteer with volunteer leaders taking on all the work and much responsibility. These leaders have a great deal of ownership and satisfaction with their contribution. Then, with success and after a number of years, many nonprofits hire staff and the process of professionalizing the nonprofit begins. Over time fewer and fewer volunteer leaders are utilized. This trend can be reversed. Before getting into tips and resources, please check out these opportunities.
Sign-up for a complementary strategy session with Volunteer Frontier to explore new ways to leverage volunteer power to save money, raise funds and extend services. Just reply to this e-mail to set up a time to talk.
Dynamic Volunteer Engagement Session - May 30, 10:00 AM -1:00PM with Maryland Nonprofits in Silver Spring, MD. I'll be the faculty member doing this session. Leave with an action plan for moving forward with more volunteer engagement. There is a registration fee.
National Conference on Volunteering and Service is in Washington, DC from June 19-21. If you're near DC, the one-day registration is $250. This is a terrific learning opportunity. Volunteer for only 4 hours and attend the entire conference for $350. Come to the session I'm leading on June 20th called, Volunteer Engagement for Smarties Trends and Winning Practices. I've assembled a great team of experts.
Ramping Up Leader Volunteer Engagement
Of course for most civic and faith groups volunteer leaders are core to getting the work done. Those who lead PTAs, Rotary clubs, church fundraisers or 4H chapters hold involved leadership positions requiring tremendous skill and dedication. Yet, many nonprofits with staff have few leadership roles for volunteers - aside from serving on the Board of Directors.
Tips on utilizing leader volunteers:
Verify volunteer competency and reliability of leader volunteers first, then trust them. Start volunteer leaders off with smaller projects, then graduate them to larger efforts.
Give volunteer leaders ownership of a program or project. Research shows it is a major way to motivate and retain them.
Make volunteer leaders a part of the staff team when appropriate. Give deeply involved volunteer leaders business cards, phone numbers, and a more professional status.
Good Resources - Leader Volunteers
Volunteers as Leaders by the HandsOn Network is a practical mini-manual to help agencies engage volunteers as leaders in service projects.
Considerations for Recruiting Volunteer Leaders by KMAC and Associates highlights what to look for in leader volunteers. It also suggests possible benefits to provide leader volunteers along with how they should be treated (with respect).