What is the #1 thing that creates loyal customers? It’s the social construct of reciprocity. Reciprocity is one of those social norms we live by. No matter where we come from, we feel obligated to return a favor. But, how can this concept work for volunteer programs?
In the harried rush to meet deadlines and respond to email, phone calls, and crises, we often communicate the best we can to our colleague, cross our fingers, and then rush of to the next thing. But is this most effective tactic in the long run? Probably not -- not with our paid staff and certainly not with our volunteers.
We assume that volunteer programs enhance the capacity of nonprofit organizations by supplementing and extending the work of paid staff. But by how much? Maybe it’s time for us to get down to the business of calculating our volunteer program ROI.
I have a new friend who is an engineering professor at a local university. He’s been struggling with implementing a new student service program in one of their dorms. He asked for suggestions, so I thought I’d share them with my readers, too.
7 Resources for Volunteer Coordinators That'll Gain You Respect We’ve been interviewing volunteer program managers across the country for a new service we are launching in April. It has been so much fun to hear stories about how people get started in the field of volunteer management and the challenge they face in finding quality [...]
How to Mobilize Communities: Top Lessons from the Women's March If you followed the meteoric response to the Women's March on Washington, you can't help but admire this tremendous feat of community organizing, resulting in the largest march in US history. Nonprofits, activists, and leaders of volunteers can learn a lot about how to mobilize [...]
Volunteer Sustainability Strategies You Need To Increase Capacity In the face of ever-growing community needs and persistent economic strains on nonprofits, volunteer sustainability isn’t just a nice thing. It’s a necessary thing. Volunteerism is a strategic choice to use human resources to build capacity, and recent data shows it works. The Points of Light Service [...]
Out with the Old: Tips You Need to Engage Virtual Volunteers In recent years there has been a fair amount of discussion about virtual volunteers and how to engage them in the work of nonprofits. However, little has been written about the changing nature of the workplace and how technological advances may directly affect how [...]
It occurred to me that one way to communicate the transformations nonprofit supporters make possible is by pulling the information together into a “Portfolio of Change.”
If you are struggling to find ways to motivate volunteers, or don't seem to have enough "leader" volunteers available, consider rennovating how you make decisions. Try leading from within, rather than from the top, by using a shared leadership model.