Volunteers: Let’s Keep Them!


How do you keep volunteers? You show them value. In other words, let them use their gifts, talents, and skills to benefit your students. Ask them how they WANT to assist you and what they want to experience while volunteering with your organization. Then, listen to how they can be an asset to your organization.

For example, an Education major may want to facilitate innovative lesson plans they created with your students. A computer programmer professional may want to create a computerized program that will educate your students on anti-bullying tactics or goal-setting.

Yes, you may have other duties you need completed. However, try to take care of their needs first. You may find once their needs are met, they are happy to meet yours.

In the past, I always thought about what volunteers could give to our organization and the youth we serve.

However, once I started to show our volunteers value, it became an enjoyable experience for them and our youth.  I also retained their services for longer periods of time. Additionally, I received great ideas from our volunteers because they felt their opinions mattered.

Try it out and see if it works for you!

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Volunteers: Let’s Bring Them In!


Last month, I was speaking to an After-School Program Director by phone. While inquiring about our curricula, she mentioned being the only instructor for her program. I assumed hiring more instructors was not in the organization’s budget.

So, I asked her, “Do you live near a university or college?”

She said “yes” and named three colleges that were nearby. I advised her to call those schools and ask for the Community Services/Outreach and Education major departments.

Most colleges have Community Services/Outreach departments because they want to have a positive relationship with their community. You can speak with or email the department director or coordinator and communicate your need for a volunteer. In my experience, the coordinator usually requests a paragraph explaining the need for a volunteer and they will distribute the information throughout the college.

In college, I was a Bonner Scholar, which is a service based scholarship. We were required to get 10 hours of community service each week.

While in graduate school, I had the Master in Business students volunteer with me to teach financial literacy in local schools.

Education majors are always looking for opportunities to work with youth. You can speak to the head of the department and inform them of your volunteer opportunities. Maybe the volunteers can create lesson plans and share new innovative teaching and learning techniques.

Bonus Tip: If you have younger students, you can call local high schools and request volunteers. As a member of the National Honor Society in high school, we were required to get community service hours as well. Typically, the high school guidance counselor can assist you.

Bonus Tip 2: If you don’t live near a college or university, contact local churches, local businesses,(some businesses give employees time off to volunteer) your friends, and family.

I have even found volunteers at the gym!

Happy Recruiting!



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