Attracting and Retaining Skilled Volunteers

by Claire Larrabee

A Summary of the New Hampshire Skilled Volunteer Survey Findings
ESC 2017 Skilled Volunteer ReportSkilled volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. Without them, a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission can be severely compromised. Skilled volunteers are certainly out there. The skilled volunteer pool in NH is estimated to be approximately 70,000 people based on the Corporation for National and Community Service statistics.¹ So how does a nonprofit identify and acquire these talented folks?

Volunteers Stand Ready to Help
In 2017, ESC conducted the NH Skilled Volunteer Survey in collaboration with our partners. The NH Skilled Volunteer Report summarizes data from nearly 700 current and potential volunteers. The survey offered volunteers the opportunity to share their motivations, needs and interests with the nonprofit sector to discover:

  • The availability and motivations of skilled volunteers
  • How organizations can best recruit these individuals to help with their missions

The survey uncovered the fact that:

  • Skilled volunteers are eager to help those organizations with missions that align with the individual’s priorities.
  • They are generally highly satisfied with their volunteer activities, and many are willing to expand their involvement to other organizations.
  • There is a pool of potential in-career volunteers who are also willing to help.

Reaching Skilled Volunteers
The report offers detailed recommendations for nonprofits including:

  • Have a crisp mission statement for your organization with which volunteers can identify
  • Match the job and time requirement to skilled volunteer preferences
  • Target marketing messages to volunteer satisfaction factors

Click here to read the full report and find out how your organization can start using the talents of more skilled volunteers.


The NH Skilled Volunteer Survey was conducted as a collaborative effort between Executive Service Corps and the NH Center for Nonprofits, Volunteer NH, Granite United Way, Monadnock United Way, and the United Way of the Greater Seacoast. Funding for this survey was provided by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. ESC thanks our partners for helping to distribute the survey.