Volunteer Loyalty: 5 Pointers to Ensure Your Volunteers Come Back Year After Year
Lawyers to the Rescue was created by a group of humanitarian lawyers whose aim is to better the world by offering their legal services to the less fortunate. This not-for-profit organization was founded with the idea of bringing about change to those who have experienced hardships. Founded following the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti, this group prides itself on offering their legal services and humanitarian help to victims of natural disasters, famine, and disease.
Photo Credit: We Heart It
While Lawyers to the Rescue was founded by lawyers, and yes, lawyers do provide their legal services through the foundation, the truth is that volunteers are what keeps it going. Volunteers help bring food, water, shelter, clothing, and hope to those who have been afflicted by life-altering natural disasters.
Since volunteers are the heart and soul of Lawyers to the Rescue, it is crucial that those who work with this organization create incentive to keep those volunteers interested in offering their services. Here are some incentives that can be used to show volunteers they are valued and keep them coming back to serve.
Photo Credits: We Heart It
Value Them: While volunteers can’t be rewarded monetarily (and that’s not why they are volunteering in the first place), they can certainly be shown that they are appreciated in other ways. Let them know how much you appreciate all the hard work they do by simply saying so. Sometimes, a good pat on the back and a “job well done” is all that is needed to let volunteers know that they are appreciated and to keep them coming back.
Show Results: You’ll really make your volunteers proud and interested in returning to offer their help when you show them the results of their hard work. You can show them pictures of the people they have helped, show them images that actually highlight the benefits of their work (a building they built being used by locals, for example), or read letters written by those who they have helped. When volunteers actually realize the powerful impact they have had, they are likely to continue offering their services.
Ask for Input: You’ll certainly keep your volunteers motivated and make them want to continue coming back to help when you ask them for their input. Hold a meeting to discuss the issues that an area needing help experiences. Ask your volunteers to shed some light and offer their ideas for offering help. Of course, coach them and let them know you appreciate their ideas.
Follow Up: Don’t forget to check in with your volunteers while they offer their services. After a specific task is complete, check in to see how participating affected them and whether or not they would be interested in making a difference again.
Host an Event: You don’t have to go completely all out, but you can certainly hold an event to honor the hard work of your volunteers. Depending on what your budget allows, you could plan a formal dinner, plan an outing (ziplining or rock climbing, perhaps?), or even just have a casual get-together over some pizza and some beer.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of a non-profit organization. Try these incentives to keep the volunteers at Lawyers to the Rescue coming back to give.
Bridget Galbreath is a writer who is well-versed in a wide range of topics, including non-profit agencies and even passive recruiting.