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Incentives for Volunteering

Many people need just a little nudge in the form of an incentive to push them over the edge and agree to volunteer. In fact, you'd be pretty surprised at just how many people are SO close to stepping up, but lack the final motivation to call or email. Here as some great ideas from an excellent Track it Forward article.


Foster The Community

Many people donate time because they want to make new friends or feel a greater sense of community. Volunteers tend to understand life as an interconnected system and seek ways to strengthen bonds with others. Managers of volunteers can consciously cultivate an engaged, social space.


Take Advantage of Virtual Tools

There are so many different tools and websites that provide virtual tools to engage volunteers, even while at home. Here are some examples: Create a Facebook Group - post funny stories, organization updates, and conversation topics; host virtual meetings with guest speakers--you can often find speakers by reading articles written by experts in your organization’s mission.


Recognize Volunteers

People actually do like to be recognized and will feel more inclined to keep volunteering if that happens. Some creative ways to recognize volunteers include thanking them in front of a group/ sending a warm letter/email; or creating a leaderboard for volunteers who help out the most or have volunteered the most hours.


Make Volunteer Impact Visible

One of the best ways to incentivize volunteers is to show them how much of an impact they are making on something important. For example, you could create a continually updated display with photos and stories

of people whose lives have been changed or write blog posts on the organization’s success and link it back to specific volunteer activities.


Teach Volunteers New Skills

Some volunteers want to try new things in order to avoid burnout, or just stay interested. The best way to find out what your volunteers want to learn is to ask.


Remember the reasons that the volunteers are there: to help, to feel needed, to be social, and to build skills. The full Track it Forward article is available here: https://www.trackitforward.com/content/volunteer-incentives-and-engagement-ideas-free.

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