Strategies your non-profit needs for better volunteer retention

Volunteer management is a key aspect in every non-profit. When it comes to growing and sustaining your nonprofit, you need volunteers who are highly engaged, reliable and skilled. Dependable and committed volunteers will help your organization to move forward towards achieving its essential goals.

However, it can be pretty tedious work to know where to find volunteers, how to bring them onboard, and then make sure they’re satisfied doing the work. As you keep adding more volunteers, there is a chance of more chaos when it comes to managing them. This can mean more work for your existing volunteers and staff, as well as risk high turnover. This is the reason why non-profits should invest in volunteer management strategies that help everyone focus on the cause. 

How can non-profits ensure that volunteers return to help out again?

1. Make it an experience, not just a task

A non-profit is like a restaurant. It isn’t just about the food it serves but also about the customer experience it provides. The entire exotic experience delivered by restaurants and hotels are one of the main reasons they acquire customers and also retain them. A non-profit should also focus on a better on-boarding experience. Make sure that every volunteer receives a warm welcome and is provided a clear picture of how their time and skills will help the cause. This definitely makes a good first impression and builds better relationships with your volunteers. Also, don’t forget to follow up with frequent messages of gratitude. It enhances volunteer interaction and creates a better experience which will not just help in retention but also in acquisition.

2. Make it easy for them to help themselves

Personalizing your engagements with the volunteers makes a huge difference. Smart non-profits have realized that volunteers just like shoppers like to explore many causes and act and discover their true self, accordingly. You can choose technology or a platform for these volunteers to register for any activity, view task completion and the community. Share information about others and other projects to help them realize their interests and make choices based on it. Volunteer management applications such as SociallyGood helps in integrating social media channels, quick registration for any campaign based on the location and the cause and also get beneficiary’s feedback.

3. Empower and arm them rightly

Aligning tasks with volunteers’ skills and their interest is the first step in life cycle engagement. According to a 2009 survey by the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund, 44% of respondents said they would rather volunteer elsewhere than stay with an organization that doesn’t use their skills. Non-profits that have well defined SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) find it easy to empower volunteers to own and drive activities. A sense of ownership is essential for increased participation and continued association. Encourage volunteers to team up with each other so that there can be overall learning.

4. Incentives and Recognition of volunteers

Recognition of volunteer work regularly earns many plus points in volunteer engagement and retention. It shows them that you appreciate their work and their time in your non-profit. It makes the volunteers feel valued in your organization. Often it is non-monetary rewards they are looking for. Smart non-profits design layered recognition systems that share success stories of volunteers on social media and other channels. This boosts your non-profit’s credibility and also attracts more volunteers to support your cause. 

Effective volunteer management and retention is a challenge for many non-profits but with these strategies, you can ensure that you have motivated and hardworking volunteers. We at SociallyGood help non-profits in effective volunteer management by providing them a dynamic platform. If you are also looking to associate with us, please do visit us at or write to us at

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