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Recruiting and retaining volunteers is a pretty hard task, and one that so often impacts on an organisations’ ability to do their job well. Here are some simple resolutions for all Volunteer Managers to help make that task a little easier.

Get to Know Your Volunteers
Adding the personal touch to your relationship with volunteers can only help things along. You will have a better idea of what it is that drives them, and really understand their ‘why’. In turn, you will be better equipped to match people to specific tasks, and ensure both the organisation and the volunteers are getting something positive from the experience. Make a note of likes and interests in your volunteer database so you can keep track, and make sure you regularly survey your team. Newbies should complete a questionnaire when they first sign up to help you understand their skills and preferences. Building a picture like this helps everyone.

Say Thank You Better
Learning the reasons behind a commitment to volunteer, gives you an insight into what makes a person tick. It also gives you the chance to work out how they like to be thanked.  Everyone has a different language of appreciation, be it receiving gifts, or being publicly thanks for their efforts, spending time with someone, or doing something in return.  Saying thank you in the right way will mean so much more than just saying thanks more often.  Check out all the info at www.appreciationatwork.com

Diversify the Roles
Have you made it clear to people that volunteering comes in many shapes and forms? Do people know they can actually help from home, or do an hour at a time? Many people look at a charity from the outside and instantly count themselves out because they don’t know the options. For example people are reluctant to put their hand up to help at Riding for the Disabled because they don’t have horse skills; but there is SO much more going on in the background! Administration, farm work, mentoring, marketing, fundraising, bake sales, photography, social media (and more) are all areas where extra help is seriously appreciated.

Rosie Julou
Rosie is the General manager at Exult and is responsible for making sure everything works like clockwork.

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