Recruit Interns for the Summer. There is still time to secure interns through universities and colleges. Create solid and worthwhile projects for interns that can be completed during the summer. More good ideas at Internweb.com.
Provide a Staff With In-Service Training on Volunteer Engagement. This spring encourage staff to think about how they might further utilize volunteers. Have staff share their own effective practices and philosophy towards working with volunteers. Consider hiring an outside volunteer engagement expert to facilitate and provide resources for a staff training session.
Survey Staff and/or Volunteers For New Directions. Learn what staff think about what's hot and what's not concerning your organization's volunteer engagement activities by sending out a short online survey. To find out what volunteers think, ServiceLeader.com has a good volunteer survey template. Compare responses between staff and volunteers to chart a direction forward. Too busy? Retain a skilled volunteer or consultant to help you get the data and interpretation you need.
Resources For Senior Managers
Bridging the Gap (2010). An informative study from Volunteer Canada on what volunteers think and how agencies can build their volunteer base. View the fact sheet or full report. Recommendations include:
Build meaningful relationships - get to know volunteers' unique needs & talents.
Develop integrated HR strategies - use similar approach for paid employees and volunteers.
Be flexible and accommodating - recognize volunteers' other time commitments.
Capitalize on technology options -- provide more online volunteer opportunities.
Show volunteers how their work is making a difference.
CEOs Who Lead the Way: 12 Key Actions of Volunteer Program Champions by Betty Stallings. This quick read helps EDs/CEOs get a handle on what needs to be done to ensure volunteers are successfully engaged - and retained to meet agency goals.
Contact me any time should you have questions concerning how to maximize your utilization of volunteers. I provide staff in-service training and help with assessing and retooling volunteer engagement efforts. Visit Volunteer Frontier, to find great resources and a full list of my services. Should you need additional help, my rates are reasonable. Lastly, visit my blog to get my take on trends and ideas in volunteer engagement.