Guest Post: Alanna Tievsky McKee, MSW
In this time of lean operations, when budgets and time need to be carefully managed, volunteer leaders represent a critical component of the association business model. Given the important role they play in driving an association’s mission forward, it’s essential to create engagement, enthusiasm and accountability among volunteers.
A strategic approach that integrates the 3Rs—recruitment, retention and responsibility—can help your association create rewarding experiences for volunteers and maximize their contributions to the organization.
Learn more about the best practices to help keep your volunteers onboard.
Recruitment—Laying the Foundation
Volunteer recruitment focuses on transitioning individual members from rank-and-file involvement to deeper engagement. This higher level of involvement includes contributing time and expertise to advancing your organization’s mission.
Word-of-mouth is a popular recruiting tool. In a benchmarking study we conducted a few years ago, the majority of associations surveyed stated they used organic word-of-mouth referrals to bring in new member-volunteers. Most of the study participants also shared that referrals from current volunteers were a preferred method of recruitment. This approach relies heavily on volunteer experience. It’s about leveraging current volunteers as ambassadors for spreading the word to peers and colleagues. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the volunteer experience is valuable and rewarding—more on that below.