How to Motivate Volunteers

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How to Motivate Volunteers

Most fundraising efforts would be doomed to fail without the efforts of talented and hard working volunteers. The worst thing a nonprofit group or organization can do is take its volunteers for granted. If you want to enjoy continued fundraising success, it’s really important to spend time letting your volunteers know how much you appreciate them so they will be motivated to continue working on your behalf.

Tips for Motivating Volunteers

1. Set Goals
Goals are a powerful motivator in most situations. When you send your volunteers out to sell candy bars, get donations for an auction, or ask corporations for donations, it can be very helpful to communicate your overall fundraising goals to them. Let your volunteer contingent know how much you hope to raise overall, and give each individual a goal to strive to accomplish.

2. Share Results
It’s highly motivating to see how much of an impact one’s efforts can have on an organization or cause. Make sure your volunteers know the financial and social results of the hard work they put in on behalf of the group or organization. Let them know not only how much money was raised, but also let them know what the funds will allow the organization to accomplish.

3. Recognition
While many people who volunteer time to help charitable organizations don’t do so in the hopes of getting a pat on the back, recognition is almost always greatly appreciated. There are many things you can do to motivate your volunteers through recognition programs that don’t cost anything.

For example, you can use your organization’s newsletter to highlight the most active volunteers. Run photographs and brief bios of volunteers on a rotating basis, highlighting their contributions to the organization. It can also be beneficial to display photographs of the most productive and dedicated volunteers on the wall of your office. Volunteers not included might be motivated to step up their efforts in order to be added to the wall.

4. Be Creative
Something that motivates one person might not have any impact at all on another. Spend time reflecting on the unique nature of your volunteers, and come up with creative ways to let them know how important their efforts are to your organization. Remember that it’s  much easier to keep the volunteers you have than it is to go out and recruit new ones.

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