Volunteers are a crucial piece of any community or charitable organization. They are the helping hands any cause needs to function. If your nonprofit provides volunteer opportunities, then you are familiar with how difficult it can be to secure a stable volunteer group. However, when volunteers choose to return multiple times, you are doing something right.
Jason Kulpa, successful entrepreneur and creator of The Kulpa Foundation, has experienced the passion a volunteer can bring to a nonprofit, and the level of confidence and returned reward a nonprofit can give back to a volunteer. The Kulpa Foundation focuses on improving people’s wellbeing by empowering individuals with special needs so they can access the opportunities they need to succeed. Kulpa believes nonprofits should take a similar approach with their volunteers.
Here, Mr. Kulpa reviews a list of four ways to keep volunteers and motivate them to work together to accomplish shared goals.
1. Strive to ensure your volunteers are getting the most out of their experience
If you want passionate volunteers, be passionate about them. Set your volunteers up for success to have a fulfilling experience while volunteering for your cause. Create an inviting community where people feel empowered through the actions they invest in your organizations’ mission and what they receive in return. Your chances of having regular volunteers dedicated to your organization increase when you build a community.
Get to know your volunteers personally to identify their strengths and weaknesses and what are their volunteer goals. When you match a volunteer’s skill advantage with a fitting job, you will help boost that individual’s self-confidence and sense of belonging.
Always show appreciation towards your volunteers. A volunteer who feels unacknowledged or unvalued will most likely not return to commit their time to your cause again. “Thank you” can never be said enough, and practicing positive recognition motivates proactive teamwork.
An excellent way to show volunteer appreciation is to respect their time. Never ask volunteers to help when there are no set jobs in place. Having active volunteer jobs encourages clear expectations and a time set objective. A volunteer that stands around with no transparent duty will feel disrespected and like they could be more productive elsewhere.
Whether you encounter a routine volunteer or a first-timer, it is crucial you remain an open and friendly resource for all volunteers or at least create a technology-based strategy that allows for such accessibility.
Prepare for your volunteers ahead of time and organize accommodations for those with physical or mental disabilities. Have several contact options available for volunteers if they need but cannot find you. It is also smart to consider assigning mentors for new volunteers to provide a less intimidating platform to ask questions and gain answers from a reliable and easily accessible resource.
Give the gift of imagery back to your volunteers of the dedicated work they gave to you. Engaging with your workers and sharing pictures of them volunteering through technology outlets such as social media will help you build better connections, boost volunteer acknowledgment, keep your social media platform captivating, and increase brand recognition.
About Jason Kulpa
Jason Kulpa is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and former CEO of UE.co, San Diego’s Fastest Growing Business multi-year award winner, and a Certified Great Place to Work multi-year winner. Kulpa also is the Founder of The Kulpa Foundation. Jason’s mission is to bring awareness, support, and inclusion for special needs causes.