Does your nonprofit agency struggle with keeping your volunteers? Volunteer retention is more important than ever. It is the backbone of your agency’s volunteer program. We have seven different ways to improve your current volunteer retention strategy to help your agency grow and thrive.

1. Give a good first impression

Volunteering can be hard and stressful at times. Make sure you are organized and ready to accept help. This will give volunteers a great first impression and a desire to come back. Try to emphasize that the volunteer is making a difference. Providing details of their task is also important for a first impression.

2. Respect their time and schedule

Volunteers are taking time out of their busy lives to help the community. Make sure you always have a task for them to do. Be flexible and understanding. Things can come up in their schedule, so provide them with other opportunities. Showing you value their time makes them feel important, and makes them want to come back.

3. Set expectations and goals

Make sure your expectations are clear for your volunteers. This better prepares them to succeed in their tasks. Setting goals makes them motivated to meet those goals. Volunteers will want to come back to reach their goals and set new ones.

4. Get to know your volunteers

Show you care about your volunteers by getting to know them as more than a volunteer. Build a friendship with them and show interest in their life. They will want to come back to an agency that they feel connected to.

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5. Use each volunteer’s skills

Know your volunteer’s skills and use them. Give volunteers the best tasks based on their knowledge and ability. Using their skills leads to higher success in tasks and a greater impact on the community. If a volunteer feels they are being utilized, they will want to volunteer again.

6. Appreciate and recognize their help

Send volunteers thank you cards and emails. Explain how their skills and volunteerism have helped your agency and the community. Showing your appreciation for volunteers may seem obvious, but it is very important. Explain how your agency would not be able to thrive without them, and how big an impact their efforts make.

7. Ask for volunteer feedback

Asking for feedback from your volunteers shows that your agency cares. Listening to their input gives you guidance on how to better your agency. Implementing their suggestions motivates volunteers to continue to volunteer with your agency.