volunteer experience

June 15, 2023

Episode #62: 10 Ways to Create an Exceptional Volunteer Experience

Not all volunteer experience are equal and the same. To truly make an impact, organizations must focus on creating exceptional volunteer experiences that not only benefit the organization, but also empower and motivate the volunteers.

In today’s episode, Tobi discusses different strategies and ideas for improving the volunteer experience. From creating a culture of learning to valuing volunteers’ lived experiences, the podcast covers a wide range of topics related to successful volunteerism.

Volunteer Experience – From The Volunteers Eyes

NCVO had a study called, Time Well Spent, a national survey of the volunteer experience where they interviewed and surveyed over 10,000 volunteers and asked them questions like, tell us about yourself, tell us about how you get involved, what makes you keep volunteering, what makes you stop volunteering, and more. They came up with a number of key features of pillars of an exceptional volunteer experience.

According to NCVO, meaningful, exceptional volunteer experience is inclusive. It’s welcoming volunteers from all walks of life. It’s flexible. It’s offering volunteers different avenues towards contributing time and talent. It’s impactful. Volunteers really do want to make a difference.

Volunteers want to feel connected and social with one another. Some people are starting to feel like volunteering is too much like paid work. And they found in this study, that some are starting to feel like volunteering feels too much like paid work and that’s not a good thing.

Volunteer Experience – First Tip

The first tip is the importance of offering immediate assistance to volunteers. Similar to the customer service experience of the Ritz Carlton, organizations should provide volunteers with a way to receive immediate help and support at any time. This can be done through text or call services that are available 24/7. 

Listen to the episode to get the full list of 10 tips from Tobi.

Volunteer Experience – Show Highlights

00:23.2 Tobi started to introduce the topic, 10 Ways to Create an Exceptional Volunteer Experience Episode Start

02:26.2 The key to a world class volunteer organization is an exceptional volunteer experience.

08:26.3 Tobi mentions the importance of creating a sense of belonging, connection, and meaning

09:50.0 Become an architect of the volunteer experience

21:00.8 Strengthening the connections are the heart of volunteering

23:24.4 Making the experience enjoyable

Volunteer Experience – Quotes from the Episode

“What makes a world class volunteer organization is an exceptional volunteer experience.”

“The better the volunteer experience, obviously then you become a world class volunteer organization.”

“Happy volunteers want to tell friends. They want to bring friends, they want to be ambassadors for you”

” Connection is about our social connections with one another.”

“Create a culture of learning and incorporate training and programs that help volunteers not only learn, but assess their skills and interests.”

“We need to think about valuing our volunteers lived experiences and encouraging them to bring those experiences to their role.”

“The more we can create flexibility for our volunteers, the better.”

“You’re starting to set people up for fun if you’re describing how fun it is.”

Want More? Check out Our Time + Talent Podcast!

Whether you’re looking for solutions, inspiration, or just want to hear what others are doing to successfully engage volunteers, Time + Talent is the podcast for leaders of volunteers.

Co-hosts Tobi Johnson, MA, CVA and Jennifer Bennett, CVA bring you uplifting and insightful conversations with thought leaders and volunteer management practitioners who are redefining their roles, and the roles of volunteers.


About the Show

Nonprofit leadership author, trainer, consultant, and volunteer management expert Tobi Johnson shares weekly tips to help charities build, grow, and scale exceptional volunteer teams. Discover how your nonprofit can effectively coordinate volunteers who are reliable, equipped, and ready to help you bring about BIG change for the better.

If you’re ready to ditch the stress and harness the power of people to fuel your good work, you’re in exactly the right place!

Contact Us

Have questions or suggestions for the show? Email us at wecare@volpro.net.

Rate, Review, & Follow Us on Apple Podcasts

If you love the content Tobi shares on the Volunteer Nation podcast, consider rating and reviewing the show! This helps us reach more people – and help more good causes just like yours – successfully engage enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers with less stress and more joy.

Click here, scroll to the bottom, tap to rate with five stars. Then, select “Write a Review” and let us know what you loved most about this episode!

Also, if you haven’t done so already, follow the podcast so you don’t miss a thing. Follow now!

Subscribe to ProNews: Our Weekly Resource Roundup

If you’d like to stay up to date on all new podcasts, blogs, freebies, and deals posted on our Tobi Johnson & Associates and VolunteerPro websites, subscribe to our weekly ProNews newsletter.

Every Wednesday, we’ll send you a digest of our freshest content, plus a bonus! Once you confirm your subscription, you’ll get our [Free eBook] The New Volunteer Manager: The First 90 Days.