How to Keep Volunteers and Members Motivated for the Duration of Your Project

Managing volunteers and members and retaining them can often be challenging. Yet volunteers and members can be an important asset to any project that has an expected outcome and to maximize the utmost potential with minimum impact to your ministries or non profit organization budget.

Ministries and non profit organizations rely on volunteers  and members from various aspects to be sustainable.

Here are five things to consider when working with volunteers and members.

1. Understand Each Volunteers and Members Motives.  Each volunteer and member has their own passion or aspirations for playing a role in your vision project. Gaining a clear and concise understanding of what that is will help you to work together as a team while encouraging them to fulfill their ultimate motives.

2. State Your Objectives, Vision, and Mission. Providing volunteers and members with the expected outcome you hope to achieve on each project will help them to buy into your vision.  It will also give them clarity on what skills they have to help in the project and define their role to play. State their intended role, hours, and expectations to minimize potential surprises or delays to your project.

3. Allow for Flexibility.  Most volunteers and members commit to a certain amount of hours per week, month, or year. Alternatives at times when needed can create a more productive environment as needed.  If the volunteer and member understands that they are committed to a certain amount of hours with flexibility they will be more inclined to make up missed hours in support of the project.

4. Have a Fun and Team Oriented Environment. Allow the volunteers and members to feel that they are apart of the organization.  From time to time have fun events, like pot luck lunches, pizza parties, volunteer and member activities that makes them inclusive to the ministry or non profit organization, etc.  Be creative in your approach.

5. Appreciation is Key.  Every volunteer and member want to know that they are playing a role in making a change and that they are an asset to the projects they contribute to. It is your job to ensure that they feel appreciated.  Volunteer and member appreciation activities and a simple thank you works well. Try it and see.

Below are a few volunteer clearing agencies that may provide resources for your next project:

The Ideal List

Jesuit Volunteers

USA Today, Make A Difference Day

Network for Good

Taproot Foundation

Volunteer Match