Psst…Remember Your Volunteers

A recent article in the Nonprofit Quarterly contained the following from a Fidelity Charitable report, “Eighty-seven percent of volunteers say there is overlap between the organizations they support financially and where they volunteer, with 43 percent describing significant or total overlap with the organizations they support financially and as a volunteer.”

Couple this with a projection written about in the NonProfit Times, “Volunteering hours for 2015 are not yet available but even if they stayed at 2014’s 7.96 billion hours, they would be valued at roughly $188 billion.” That’s impact with a “B”.

Nonprofit VolunteersWhat is the state of your volunteer army? Are you satisfied with the impact volunteers have on your organization? Do you have a plan for attracting new volunteers? Do your existing volunteers want to do more for the organization but don’t know how or haven’t been given a green light to do more?

People volunteer their time and talent for any number of reasons: to make a contribution to the community; they have been personally affected by the organization’s cause; a desire to use their skills and experience to assist others; it;s something to do with their friends; and dozens of other reasons.

Assessing the volunteer resources at your disposal and deploying them accordingly provides many benefits to the organization and the mission that you serve – managing costs, extending impact, developing donors (there’s a link between giving and volunteering), to name just a few.

And, don’t forget to recognize your volunteers. They provide a great resource at an unbeatable price. A little acknowledgement goes a long way. Wild Apricot offers a very nice Volunteer Appreciation Guide for Canadian Associations – but the majority concepts and suggestions would apply to other nonprofit organizations regardless of location.