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Engage and Retain Association Volunteers with a Volunteer Report

Membership Audra Hopkins

No matter who your association is or what it stands for, it’s no secret that volunteers help you pull off the feats you never thought possible.

That’s right, the power of volunteers for your association’s events, projects, and anything in between is massive- a lot more massive than you may assume. In fact, According to research done by Points of Light, an organization dedicated to volunteer work, for every dollar a non-profit association spends towards volunteer engagement, they can expect a $6 return. Talk about a return on investment!

But if your association has never crunched the numbers and put together a guide of just how much your volunteer efforts impact the organization, you’ll never know the true impact of your volunteers.

Individuals that volunteer are looking to make a difference for the causes and missions they care about- and they want to know exactly what they’re work is doing to make things happen. Without knowing how they measure up in terms of accomplishments, they may lose interest in volunteering in the future.

Putting together a comprehensive volunteer report can save your association’s volunteer retention rate by engaging those willing to help. So, how should you create a report that matters?

We’re going to show you the best way for your association to do the research and put a report together that volunteers can understand, engage with, and learn from. With our tips, you’ll be sure to give volunteers a reason to come back in the future.

What to include

So, what metrics and data should your association’s volunteer report include? With a lot of insightful moments to track, you want to make sure you hone in and report on what’s most important to your volunteers.

Much like any other report your association puts together to track and benchmark data, your volunteer impact report should include key metrics about how your volunteer program is accomplishing new milestones. Your report should summarize achievements as well as provide insight into how you’ve grown within the fiscal year due to volunteer efforts.

Think about key points of data that have been directly influenced by volunteer action. Has your event satisfaction increased? Have you been able to spend less money due to an abundance of free, helping hands? Have you had an increase in advocacy action? Any activity or goal that includes volunteers should be included in your report- after all, you want those who put the time in to see where there efforts have gone!

You should also be sure to include important statistics like: volunteer retention, demographics, referral rates, donation amounts, and any other numerical data that can help give volunteers a better picture of their impact.

Include more than numbers

While cold, hard data is great to present to your volunteers in terms of proving their impact, you also want to make sure your report is more than just numbers.

Handing volunteers a strictly quantitative report can leave a dry taste in their mouth and do nothing for their conscience. But if you can provide a report that’s an equal mix of numbers and powerful anecdotes, you’ll be sure to keep their attention all the way through.

Consider collecting more qualitative data for your report and scatter it throughout the sea of numbers. You can use event attendee testimonies, staff stories from events and conferences, and even quotes from community members that have been impacted by your association’s work. Hearing kind words from others on how much your association’s volunteers stand out in their minds will help paint a picture of just how important your volunteers are.

You can also create fun graphics and charts to help give your report some color and zeal. Take it the extra mile and create something that isn’t just data-driven, but that packs a punch visually as well.

Show your appreciation

Even though your report is all about showing volunteers the impact they’ve made on the community and your missions, you should also let volunteers know the impact they’ve made on you.

Extending a warm “thank you” to your volunteers can solidify their relationship with your association’s staff as well as show them how much they mean to your organization. At the end of the day, no matter the numbers your volunteer program churns out of the accomplishments being made, your association is grateful to have a powerful team of individuals behind you every step of the way.

Consider getting a higher up at your association to write a blurb thanking your volunteers to include in the beginning of your volunteer report. You can also get warm messages from other members of your association’s staff to double down on your appreciation.

By showing your pride and gratitude towards volunteers, you may convince them to stick around in the future.

Putting together the perfect volunteer report will help your association engage and retain volunteers, giving you a stronger support system to help out at events and push your association forward in all it does. Consider creating a volunteer report to show your appreciation and impact to all of your volunteers.

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