Volunteers have different needs, desires and skills. By designing the right volunteer opportunities, your potential volunteers will be much less likely to say “no.” Check out our 7 tips for creating that perfect volunteer experience:
1. Create opportunities with flexible schedules to accommodate people who work or are in school.
2. Design a wide range of volunteer activities, and don’t be afraid to add something new every now and then. Making diverse opportunities available will in turn attract a diverse group of volunteers for your organization.
3. Take the time to ask your volunteers why they like to volunteer. Many of them may be looking for a specific experience or feeling, and by listening to them, you can design better opportunities.
4. Define the time commitment of a volunteer task early on, and don’t make any last-minute changes. This gives volunteers the impression that you value their time and respect that they have other commitments.
5. Define what each project will entail ahead of time and be upfront about it. By making your expectations clear, and offering training when necessary, you make your volunteers feel supported, and you will prevent project mishaps as well.
6. Provide a little bit of freedom. Volunteers have ideas of their own, and they want to help your organization. Design projects that give them the freedom to do things their way, and nurture their creativity by listening to their ideas. This increases your volunteers’ sense of pride and rekindles their passion for your cause.
7. Lastly, check in periodically to see how your volunteers are feeling. It will make them feel appreciated and important, and will provide them the opportunity to ask questions or request something else to do.
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