The most common lament we hear (ok it’s tied with “we can’t find volunteers”) is how can we get the volunteers to actually do what they say they will. As we’ve always said here at Mariner, volunteer management is really HR management and so the many principals for motivating employees are relevant. This is where Amy Gallo comes in. She recently wrote a super piece on the topic for the Harvard Review blog: “How To Keep Your Team Motivated”.
Her five key strategies are spot on for those of us in volunteer management especially these three:
- The freedom to choose when, where, and how they work – ties directly to the conversation about ad-hoc and virtual volunteering options
- Feeling connected to others – in the top five reasons volunteers tell us they give their time and probably the key motivator for millennials per the Millennial Impact report
- Aspirational, but achievable, goals – “get something meaningful done” is a universal motivator as we talked about in Mission Driven Volunteering white paper.
Here’s the bonus to embracing these strategies: when you focus on what makes a real difference in motivating volunteers, you also address the parallel question of how to recruit volunteers.
What’s your action plan for 2015?