I attended some interesting training last week looking at new approaches and perspectives around volunteer retention.
There were seven key things that were identified as being important to do in order to engage with a volunteer (and hopefully retain them):
• Be flexible
Eg: Have more than one volunteering role. Make it easier for people to come back and volunteer again if they have to take some time out.
• Focus on meaning and impact
Include the impact of the role in the volunteer description. Talk about the difference that that this role will make to people’s lives.
• Get to know your volunteers
Talk to them regularly and encourage other members of the team to do the same.
• Create a community
Organisations do not always have time to organise events for volunteers but you can still help to create a community with a shared whatsapp group or facebook group for example.
• Make it sustainable
Create the right conditions – let people grow – accept and expect change. Ensure that relationships are not just with one person (what happens if they leave?).
• Use technology to support engagement
Ensure you are using the right methods to engage with different groups.
(Training delivered by www.laurahamiltonconsulting.com)
Laura also said something at the start of the training that I liked. She said: “When the winds of change come along, build windmills not walls.”
I think this is great to keep in mind across all of our work!