More Tips for Volunteer Retention
Putting in place tried-and-true volunteer-management practices can enhance an organization’s ability to retain volunteers.
This, according to the report “Volunteer Management Practices and the Retention of Volunteers” by Mark A. Hager and Jeffrey L. Brudney, published by The Urban Institute in June 2004. The report presents findings from a 2003 survey of volunteer management among nonprofit organizations and congregations, looking at the relationship between organizations’ adoption of nine recommended best practices for managing volunteers and the retention of volunteers.
The nine practices recommended are:
1. Regular supervision and communication with volunteers.
2. Liability coverage or insurance protection for volunteers.
3. Regular collection of information on volunteer numbers and hours.
4. Screening procedures to identify suitable volunteers.
5. Written policies and job descriptions for volunteer involvement.
6. Recognition activities, such as award ceremonies, for volunteers.
7. Annual measurement of the impact of volunteers.
8. Training and professional development opportunities for volunteers.
9. Training for paid staff in working with volunteers.
Of these nine, the report states that the practices most critical to increased volunteer retention are recognition of volunteers, training and professional development, and screening of volunteers to best match them with organizational needs. These practices, along with an investment of adequate resources to support volunteers, fostering a culture that welcomes them and using existing volunteers to recruit new volunteers can help organizations increase volunteer retention.
For the complete report, www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/411005_VolunteerManagement.pdf