I recently completed Denise Locker's The Volunteer Handbook: A guide for churches and non-profits. This quick read provides lots of great ideas for individuals desiring to start and/or improve one's volunteer program. Below are a few of the biggest take-aways from the book that will develop AMBASSADORS.
1. Volunteers MUST have meaningful tasks, and they must know their IMPACT.
2. Take inventory (by involving all staff) of the needs of the organization that can be filled by volunteers.
3. Volunteers' hours can be equated to "gifts in kind" on organizations' tax forms.
4. Shirts worn by ambassadors become walking billboards for the organization.
5. Video newsletters are a great way to share "insider information with stakeholders.
6. All gifts and promotional items for volunteers must have the organizations name and logo.
7. Share great photos of your great volunteers (ambassadors) doing great things.
8. Seek feedback from ambassadors after events; "What did you think about the experience?"
9. "...it's what the current volunteers say that matters most (p. 28). Ensure no negativity.
10. Volunteers can be advocates for volunteering. Invite them to speak at events.
11. Develop job descriptions which detailing expectations and responsibilities for volunteer positions.
12. "Volunteers come back because of interactions with others and the perception of meaningful contributions (p. 43)."
13. Nametags. Use them.
14. Create protocols for volunteers coordinators to ensure success at events.
15. The Four Thank Yous
- Thank You upon arrival
- Thank You during
- Thank You after
- Thank You follow up (see 8)
16. Look for individuals that have these leadership traits to be volunteer coordinators.
- Well-liked by volunteers and staff
- Good communicator
- Servant's heart
18. Find opportunities for others to discover and use their gifting.
19. Nominate top-notch volunteers for the President's Volunteer Service Award.