Volunteers are great - and a HUGE part of your association’s success.
...as long as they follow through. The question here then is HOW do you get your volunteers to follow through? How can you hold them accountable?
Here are a few tips:
1. Pair your new volunteers with older, more trusted volunteers
It’s hard to know if someone’s going to follow through or not, particularly when they’re new and you’ve never worked with them before. To eliminate (or at least minimize) risk, try pairing your new volunteers with older, more trusted volunteers. That way, if your new volunteers start to slack, the older, more experienced volunteers can step in (and hopefully reverse some of that behavior).
Tip: If your new volunteers do start to slack, have your veteran volunteers sit down with them to see what’s going on. Maybe your new volunteers don’t like the tasks they’ve been given or the dates/times aren’t really working for them. Don’t just brush them off - see how you can work together.
2. Schedule regular check-ins (either in person or by phone)
Check-ins are a great way to ensure tasks are getting done. If you can, try scheduling these in person. It’s much easier to have an honest conversation face-to-face. That said, if in-person meetings are out of the question, phone calls will work just as well.
Note: It’s up to you to determine how often you need these check-ins. The bigger the task (and the closer in time that task gets), the more check-ins you’re likely to need.
3. Determine milestone marks and/or check-in points
An alternative to scheduling regular check-ins is to determine milestone marks and/or check-in points. For example, maybe you don’t want to meet every other Thursday. Instead, maybe you just want to meet right before your conference invitations go out and again when all the speaker RFPs come in. If that system works better for you, go for it! It’s just another way to ensure tasks are getting done.
We get it. Volunteer management is no easy task. First you have to recruit volunteers, then you have to onboard them, then you have to encourage them to stay. A challenging cycle indeed.
Need help with any of those tasks? Check out our free Guide to Volunteer Management below!