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Mariner Management & Marketing LLC

What Your Volunteers Need to Be Happy

Wednesday, March 22, 2017 - 1:06pm

No, its not as difficult as you think! The ASAE Foundation Study on what makes a Mutually Beneficial Volunteer System illuminated a few points. (Read the full report here.) The list: effective training and orientation, accessible volunteer positions (think a mix of short-term, micro, and focused longer gigs), readily available resources, meaningful opportunities, and feedback.

An earlier study from ​​summed up similar findings and a post on the research offered ten ways to respond. In those ten were three points that I think we to often miss.

(1) Turning your volunteer job into a mini educational experience will be highly valued by potential volunteers. Take this thought and use it in your messaging about why to volunteer. Act on this by baking in education. e.g.,  at a board meeting tie in a short 15-minute skill development session.

(2) Share success stories about your clients and programs. Bring volunteers up-to-date on progress toward your organization's goals. When a task is accomplished – do you share the impact of the work immediately? Do you provide updates to volunteers that share true progress on goals?

(3) Volunteers don't want to be lectured to. Think about this next time you plan your leadership conference or your webinar. Gone are the days where you could just point one speaker after another in the front of the room leaders. Are your sessions interactive and follow good brain-friendly, adult learning concepts? Are your webinars interactive (using chat, video, polls etc.)?

Want to hear more? Join us on the March 29 ASAE Membership Section Webinar Drive Member Engagement. Show #VolunteerLove. Details at

How do you make your volunteers happy?


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