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Don't let those valued volunteers walk out the door.

Retiring Baby Boomers with time on their hands began to swell the volunteer market a decade or so ago. Coupled with a new generation of socially conscious Millennials, a new emphasis on volunteerism is growing. Although staffing is a perpetual challenge for nonprofits and helping organizations, the organizations that use volunteers are using more of them.

Jenné Meyers, CEO of Chicago Cares shares, “research tells us that organizations that engage volunteers are better led, better managed, more adaptable and capable of going to scale.” Additionally, Common Impact shared how nonprofits can leverage skill-based corporate volunteers to develop professional development programs for their employees, increasing retention and human capacity.

Volunteers bring value to your nonprofit

Promoting a strategy of volunteer engagement yields an average of 23 percent return on your nonprofit’s investment in increased mission delivery capacity. Depending on the size of the organization and the volunteer role, annual costs for each volunteer can range from $150 to $2000 per year for:

  • Recruiting
  • Training
  • Supervision
  • Recognition/Appreciation

This investment can be more than worth it: Each volunteer hour is equivalent to $25 in staffing-related cost savings. Each volunteer donates an average of 52 hours per year = $1,820. Volunteer board members and trustees provide even higher value rates.

Engaged volunteers stay with your charity and provide a rich ROI

Volunteer management is something that takes work and intentionality. During a breakout session, Katie Zwetzig, executive director of Verified Volunteers, tells us that when nonprofits invest staff capacity and resources into effective volunteer management it has a strong return on investment.

Yet, despite our best efforts, one-third of your nonprofit’s volunteers will leave after one year, with no explanation or opportunity to retain them. And why do your hard-won volunteers drift away? Creating volunteer engagement is all the buzz in 2018 in terms of effective retention strategies. Investing time and resources in training, communication and, and most of all, connection reduces volunteer turnover and increases the amount of time, and the value of skills, provided by your volunteers

What does an engaged volunteer look like?

Nonprofits and charities are increasingly striving to enhance their volunteers’ understanding of their charity’s work and mission, with an awareness that goes well beyond the intellectual. The goal: to promote an emotional and intellectual connection, appealing to both “the head and the heart” of your volunteers.

Why do volunteers walk away?

Volunteers become part of your nonprofit because they feel an emotional connection with your mission. But the volunteer experience, from your volunteer training program, management, communication and recognition, must reflect the fact that your nonprofit values and respects their service. Without recognition and engagement, volunteers walk away from your nonprofit, taking their skills, service and potential donations along with them.

What is the right way to attract and retain volunteers? Engagement Communities™.

MissionBox powered Engagement Communities™ provide one secure branded online center for all your volunteers to access:

  • Information
  • Education
  • Reports
  • Inspirational Stories
  • Invites
  • Simple Surveys
  • Impact Reports
  • Shared Documents/Discussions
  • News Feeds
  • Videos
  • Trainings and more …

Plus, MissionBox Engagement Communities provide easy document archival and retrieval, along with Project/Collaboration organization tools to promote true collaboration with your volunteers.

Best of all, you provide your volunteers with “need to know” and appealing information, all accessed via a unique username and password in a guaranteed private, managed environment, available through any device, both desktop and mobile.

With free user seats & cloud, you can invite a limitless number of volunteers to learn more, care more and give more time and skills to your charity.

MissionBox Engagement Communities. Your one-stop, secure, online center for all nonprofit constituent communications and collaboration. For a free demonstration, contact dhansen@missionbox.com.

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Disclaimer

MissionBox editorial content is offered as guidance only, and is not meant, nor should it be construed as, a replacement for certified, professional expertise.

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