Traditional volunteering where an organization has needs, posts those needs and interviews based on those needs has always been the way most volunteer coordinators manage their volunteer program but things are changing drastically.
High unemployment rates and early retirement is breeding a new kind of volunteer. This volunteer is highly skilled and wants to both use those skills and learn new skills. Are you ready for this kind of volunteer?
Why am I writing about this? I am not sure if volunteer coordinators are addressing this opportunity to its maximum potential?
Here are a few suggestions that you can do to attract, place and retain these types of volunteers?
Have a plan and create a model of success by creating buy-in from your staff and current volunteers
Know what is out there and where you can access high skilled volunteers and target market
Be able to demonstrate to the volunteer how you can support their journey with them and why and how they can make a difference
Look for opportunities from within to create interesting projects that they can work on
Share stories of success internally and externally
Be creative and find new venues to recruit
Shift your interview process into a conversation so that you and the volunteer can learn from each other and find common ground and opportunities
Understand the motivation of the volunteer so that you are both clear about expectations
Build a team that can guide the process of change and attract key members that can lead through enthusiasm
Remove obstacles by developing a strategy for engagement and assessing and addressing the risks involved
Change any necessary systems or structures that will create obstacles to success (application process, interview process, training etc….)
Develop performance measures and evaluate success and challenges so that you can accurately understand effectiveness and efficiency in your program
Create short term win and celebrate and tell stories
Finally, don’t give up…ask for advice….learn from each other
Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or advice