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3 Tips for Strengthening Your Association’s Current Volunteer Program

Building a strong volunteer program is essential for the success of your organization. So, let’s talk about 3 tips to strengthen your association’s current volunteer program and get more individuals to show up in the future.

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Bringing together a group of highly involved individuals can really help your association get down to business and knock larger projects out easily. But if you don’t have a strong volunteer program, you may not know who to turn to when you need help. Volunteers are one of the best things an association can have.

They’re people who genuinely care about your mission, who want to see you grow and achieve the goals you have, and who want to be apart of making it all happen. At the core of every association should always be a solid team of volunteers ready to take action when needed. But with the struggle of finding time to get everything done around your association, you may lose focus on keeping your volunteers engaged and involved. If you find yourself not finding time to address volunteers, this is exactly when you need to make the time to do so.

Building a strong volunteer program is essential for the success of your organization. So, let’s talk about 3 tips to strengthen your association’s current volunteer program and get more individuals to show up in the future.

1. Create a strong base

If you look at your volunteer program as a structure, you always want to make sure the foundation of that structure stands strong before you can work on anything else. Creating a strong foundation for your volunteer program ensures that your volunteers feel secure in the mission they’re apart of. And in order to do this, you need to figure out what the core purpose of your volunteer program is. Every association is different, so every volunteer program’s purpose will be unique.

For example, maybe you have a large focus on advocacy at your organization and want to make this the base of your volunteer program. Or, you might run your association around providing care for members. Having a volunteer program based around helping others in your community is another strong foundation you can build. Creating that base to your volunteer program will help those looking to join learn exactly what they’ll be getting into when they first come on board.

2. Support your volunteers

Want your volunteers to keep coming back to help you with projects, events, and big changes? Then you’ll want to support the with every step of their journey. Let’s start by analyzing the roles you ask volunteers to take on. Are you putting too much on their plates? Are you not giving them the responsibility they’re looking for in order to help?

Making sure volunteers are happy with the roles they’ve received is key if you want to keep them satisfied with the work they’re doing. You should also be aware of what each volunteer’s attributes are. What makes them unique as someone who’s helping your association? What strengths do they bring to the table that might make them a great candidate for certain positions? If you can learn more about how your volunteers function, you can place them in positions that work well with their skills.

Of course, you should always make sure volunteers feel comfortable reaching out to you if they need anything or want to change the position they have in your volunteer program. After all, these people are helping you reach success within your organization. You want them to feel like they have a say in how they help.

3. Create time sheets/schedules

Having a strong team of volunteers is great, but it should also be noted that these individuals are donating their spare time- which is something they may not have much of. Keeping on track with the hours your volunteers put in can help in a lot of different aspects.

It can help you create a schedule that works with your volunteers and makes sure there are no time gaps. It also helps you see which volunteers are putting in amazing hours - which you could congratulate them for in your own way. Consider creating a volunteer schedule for individuals to sign up on and create their own flexible volunteer hours. You can put this somewhere on your website for everyone to see and participate in. Who knows, it may attract more members to join your volunteer program! You can also keep track of the hours members put in by creating a time sheet for your association’s own use. This way, you’ll have an organized record of who your top volunteers are, as well as any new volunteers who are just starting to put hours in.

Timing is everything, so don’t forget to keep track of things in your association’s volunteer program. Tightening the bolts on your association’s volunteer program can help you keep things strong and achieve more in the future. Give our 3 tips a try and see how you can bring in more and more volunteers.