Keep Your Vital Volunteers

Volunteers are essential to the ability of nonprofits to execute their mission. While volunteer recruitment is often the top priority it is equally important to focus on volunteer retention.

Here are some volunteer management best practices from ESC consultant Terry Hamacher’s workshop, the People Factor, focusing on best practices for volunteer retention.

  1. Orientation is a must
  2. Provide general information about organization and specific information about the position/project the volunteers will be working on, during orientation
  3. Reinforce expectations, let volunteers know what is expected, and ensure they are aware of organization policies and guidelines
  4. Introduce the volunteer supervisor
  5. Say “Thank You” Early and Often! Make sure your volunteers feel appreciated for the work they are doing. Send thank-you notes and e-mails; make thank-you phone calls, calls or emails, publicly thank volunteers in meetings and describe their contribution, create an awards program and list volunteers in annual reports and event programs.

Remember volunteers are providing a vital service make sure they are appreciated and well informed.

If your nonprofit could benefit from affordable management consulting, please contact ESC’s Director of Consulting, Ulea Lago, at or call 617-357-5550. We serve nonprofits in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and we offer a complimentary 2-hour assessment visit for all interested area nonprofits.