Catching a new, energetic volunteer is like having lightning in a bottle – you don’t want to lose it! That’s why new volunteer onboarding is SO important. You want those volunteers to stick around.
When a new member volunteers at your organization, start off by thanking them. Then, complete the following seven actions:
- Send them a warm welcome email. A personalized email is good, but a quick one-on-one phone call to follow up with them is even better. You want your new volunteers to feel comfortable, and more importantly, wanted.
- Provide them with an orientation packet. It’s important to get your new volunteers up to speed as soon as possible. Provide them with an orientation packet highlighting your organization’s mission and values, key staff members and leadership volunteers, and policies, rules, and procedures.
- Introduce them to other active members. The more friends a member has in your organization, the more likely they are to stay. And the more active those members’ friends are (i.e. other volunteers), the more likely that habit is to catch on.
- Put them to work! This is what you and your new volunteers have been waiting for! Have a few ideas ready and get some of those new projects rolling!
- Make sure their ideas are heard (and more importantly, responded to). Nothing will cause disengagement faster than a new volunteer thinking that no one is listening. Make sure your volunteers’ voices are heard, and when possible, incorporated.
- Clue them into the future of your association. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as “being in the know,” and when your new volunteers are armed with that type of information, they can help move your association closer to that goal.
- Ask for help. If you’re like most associations, you’re always looking for new volunteers. So why not start with what you’ve already got? Ask your volunteers if they have any friends who are also looking to get engaged. Remember: One engaged member is the key to many more.
Want more tips for recruiting, onboarding, and retaining your organization’s volunteers? Check out our free Volunteer Management Guide below!