improve volunteer retention

June 29, 2023

Episode #64: Using Email to Improve Volunteer Retention – Part 1

In this episode, Tobi dives into the world of communication strategies and explore how leveraging email can significantly improve volunteer retention. But before we get into the details, let’s take a moment to understand why email remains a vital tool in today’s ever-changing digital landscape.

Email offers a unique solution, allowing you to own your list of subscribers and ensuring direct communication with your volunteers. In part one of this two-part episode, we delve into the advantages of email over social media, debunk common concerns, and discuss the benefits of targeted messaging.

Improve Volunteer Retention – Social Media vs Email

While social media platforms offer wide-reaching opportunities, their limitations and uncertainties are often overlooked. There are some reasons why email should be your go-to communication channel for connecting with volunteers. As social media platforms continue to change their algorithms and policies, it’s becoming increasingly important for organizations to find reliable and effective ways of engaging and communicating with their volunteers. Unlike social media, email is ad-free and allows for targeted messaging to specific groups or individuals, increasing their feeling of being understood.

Improve Volunteer Retention – Advantages of Email

One advantage of using emails for communication is that it allows you to have ownership of your recipient list. Unlike social media platforms where you don’t have control over your followers, email allows you to build and maintain your own list of subscribers. This gives you a sense of control, confidence, and security, knowing that you have direct access to your audience. Additionally, with email, you can ensure direct communication with your subscribers. The only obstacle may be spam filters, but with proper email management and engaging content, you have a higher chance of successfully reaching your subscribers’ inboxes.

Improve Volunteer Retention – Show Highlights

00:22.5 Tobi started explaining the topic o the 2-part episode

02:11.3 How we can go email better?

04:13.5 Is email the answer or is social media a better platform for these messages?

04:49.2 Pros of email

10:19.5 Cons to using email

13:52.3 Pros to using social media

18:02.8 Social Media Cons

22:59.4 Summary of both sides – social media and email

Improve Volunteer Retention – Quotes from the Episode

“So as humans, we like to have some control over our processes or at least understand where we’re at in a specific process.”

“Social media platforms own your followers and can change access or even take down your site.”

“Email allows you to own your list of subscribers, giving you control, confidence, and security.”

“Subscribers who willingly sign up for email lists are more likely to be interested in and engage with the content.”

“Continuous learning is necessary in social media as policies and algorithms constantly change.”

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

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.