Tips for Creating a Successful Volunteer Program

Image Credit: Canva

Image Credit: Canva

Whitney Thweatt, CAE, account manager

These ideas are inspired by the session “Volunteer Management Super Story-Slam” at the ASAE Annual Meeting on Aug. 16, 2016, presented by Vivian Abalama, CAE; Liz Messner, IOM, CAE; Caitlin Couture, CAE; Trevor Mitchell, MBA, CAE; Lakisha Woods, CAE; Valerie Cammiso, CAE

Volunteering provides tremendous benefit to both the association and the volunteer. Volunteers gain leadership skills, build their resume, earn recognition from peers, work alongside industry experts and give back to the profession. Volunteers are often the first to hear about and help to formulate responses to changes in the industry. They are given the opportunity to work on projects that promote growth both personally and professionally.

Make sure your association provides an enriching volunteer experience.  Here are six quick tips to help you set up successful volunteer program.

  • Identify needs. Identify the areas in your association in which volunteers could be involved. There are some needs that would be better fulfilled by staff and others that the association would benefit from having volunteer participation.
  • Make sign-up easy. A volunteers’ time is valuable. Consider a volunteer portal that houses available opportunities and an online application.
  • Offer a variety of opportunities. Offer opportunities that have differences in duration, frequency and focus. Encourage potential volunteers to select positions that align with their interests, skills and availability.
  • Create a training program. Provide enough info for volunteers when they sign up so they can jump right in and have the information needed to participate.
  • Have consistency. Create templates to provide efficiency and consistency between committees.
  • Thank your volunteers. Send a postcard. Hold a leadership brunch and give out awards.
  • Celebrate National Volunteer Week.

For more tips on recruiting volunteers, check out the blog post, “Volunteers – At the Heart of Every Association.”

Want to know more about association management? Contact us info@imiae.com to find out more about what IMI Association Executives can do for your organization.

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