Volunteers are an integral part of your association, and they play a big role in how you track engagement among your members. And just as with your membership software, if it weren’t for your volunteers, then it would be quite difficult for your association staff to accomplish all of the great things that they envision.
For me, I want to do more volunteer work within the Chicago community. My biggest dilemma is what organization to volunteer with. I want it to be something that resonates with my personal values and will motivate me to stay involved as long as I’m living in this city. There’s a volunteer expo that I’ll be attending next month, which will hopefully help me narrow it down, and I’ll certainly be paying attention to how they communicate with their volunteers and how it’s managed.
For some people, choosing what organization to volunteer with might be the easiest part, especially if you’re already a member of an association. Chances are their mission is something you’re passionate about so you know that you want to be involved in it in whatever capacity.
While convincing people to volunteer may not be the most challenging part, the real challenge is how do you keep them engaged and active in a way that strengthens your organization in the long-run.
Here’s one powerful tip that you can follow if you’re looking to increase engagement among your volunteers.
The following is an excerpt from David Frick’s post, 14 Volunteering Tips to Boost Member Engagement This Year, on our Aptify blog.
Learn from those who do it well
My volunteer experience at ASAE couldn’t have been more different, and while I don’t know the inner workings of the ASAE volunteer infrastructure, I can tell you my experience was nothing short of inspiring and the support from ASAE was outstanding.
My ASAE experience started with a call for volunteers. This clearly set out the various opportunities and succinctly articulated ASAE’s expectations of me if I were fortunate enough to be selected to serve. Not only did I fully understand what I was signing up for, it created mystery as to whether I would be chosen. I found myself thinking like that kid on the playground: “pick me, pick me!” But more importantly it drove home the importance of remaining committed if I were selected.
ASAE also does an outstanding job of communicating with its volunteers, regarding the organization and its initiatives. It made me feel like I was an important part of the process. Further, committee members are expected to attend an annual kick-off meeting to make sure everyone on the committee understands the committee’s purpose. In my case, we also had a mid-year face-to-face meeting, in addition to our monthly committee meetings.
Is the ASAE model perfect? I suspect they’d be the first to say it is not, but it’s darn good and if you’re looking to emulate a solid process, I recommend you start by contacting ASAE.
They say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” and if there is an organization that you see who is rocking their volunteer efforts, then why not emulate what works for them and test it out at your association. You might find yourself seeing the same level of success or more!
Members are what keeps your association alive, and your volunteers are your biggest asset. By setting clear expectations and giving them a strong sense of purpose, you’re more likely to see them even more engaged at your association.
Want even more volunteering tips? Then be sure to check out this post 14 Volunteering Tips to Boost Member Engagement This Year on our Aptify blog.