pexels-photo-1260293Do your volunteers have everything that they need to advance your mission forward? Use the following strategies to keep your team’s skillset and energy levels fully charged and ready to take on your NFP’s challenges!


None of us are born knowing how to do a specific job or task. While we might have particular tastes and preferences, and some natural talents, most of us have had a long line of teachers, mentors and other guides that have instructed us on learning the basics of most of our skills and abilities.

To be a successful volunteer, your recruits need to know the basics of how to perform their specific duties and routines for them within your organisation. This means that you will need to develop an onboarding and training program that teaches your people how to perform their job functions and how to fit in within your organisation’s culture.

Clear Direction, Communication and Follow-Up

Development is an on-going process, and your volunteers need to know that you will support them during their tenure with your NFP. Check in with your volunteers from time to time to make sure that they have all the materials and other resources that they need to perform their tasks well.

Don’t wait for something to go wrong before following-up with your team. Communicate with individual members and give them specific examples of their excellent performance. If they fall short, let them know what steps they need to take to improve. Always follow-up to ensure that your team understands the directions that you’ve given and that you’ve set the right expectations.


Your volunteers need to know that you appreciate them! What’s the best way to keep your volunteers motivated to do their best each day? Let them know how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication!

Simple expressions of gratitude, such as writing a handwritten note telling them how their work makes a difference to just saying a sincere and heartfelt “thank you,”  go a long way to inspiring your team to keep up the good work!


In addition to openly praising your team members for a job well done, offer your volunteers public, visible recognition for the contributions that they make to your NFP and service beneficiaries. Interview individual volunteers and feature their stories on your website and social media channels. Offer shout-outs on your social media and other news outlets when they truly exceed everyone’s expectations. Host an awards banquet or other event to recognise your top performers and motivate everyone to give their best!


Your volunteers also need to know that their service comes with benefits! Some benefits are inherent in the work. For example, volunteering can increase one’s self-esteem and confidence levels. It can also diversify your skillsets and experience and provide new opportunities to connect and network with others. Enhance these benefits by giving your volunteers perks and other rewards to encourage them to volunteer with your organisation long-term!

Consider partnering with third parties to give your volunteers discounts on popular services such as gym memberships, deals on meals, dry-cleaning, professional childcare, salon and spa treatments and other personal services. Offer your top volunteers special parking, pick up lunch at their favourite spot as a treat, send them flowers or another unexpected gift that shows how much you and your organisation appreciate them for being a part of your team!