This morning while cruising through my LinkedIn groups I saw an alarming post about the declining rates of volunteers for nonprofits. According to the post, volunteer rates are down but especially among adults with bachelors degrees or higher.
Does that sound like your ideal volunteer for your association? Have you noticed these numbers tanking lately?
Here are some ideas to boost them back into the “workable” range for your philanthropy and events.
1) Collaborate with another volunteer group. Perhaps your numbers are down because your demographic is collaborating with a larger community volunteer group that doesn’t have a specific focus, just helps out where needed. For example, Atlanta has a group like that which divides up its large number of volunteers each weekend to send some to the Food Bank, some to a Habitat for Humanity home, and so on. Perhaps approaching that organization and explaining the help you need and why could open a door to more community participation!
2) Offer “credit” of some kind. You know how CAEs are always looking for CAE credits to keep their certifications up to date? Think about college students, looking to boost their resumes and stand out to potential employers. Make sure you’re maximizing your offerings to build those valuable credentials for your members and volunteers.
3) Pump up the benefit to your members. Perhaps you can’t offer college or club credit or you’re not eligible to offer credit for any kind of professional certification. Volunteering at your events still gets your members plenty of benefits like free admission, free meals, and great networking.
4) Branch out your recruitment. Embrace different demographics outside of your usual go-to volunteer group. Consider reaching retirees and college students as well as working professionals. This brings into play the time and say of the volunteering events. Perhaps a small tweak in something as simple as the time to accommodate for traffic could make a big difference.
Also keep in mind that outside factors sometimes cause a dip in engagement. That doesn’t mean it won’t naturally rebound on its own when summer comes or the economic numbers swing a different way. But as usual, a proactive approach is best!
If you are looking for more help with member and volunteer engagement, download our free guide!