For many nonprofits, the support of volunteers is essential when it comes to fulfilling your mission. Without volunteers, everything that needs doing simply wouldn’t get done.
Happy volunteers are worth a whole lot more to your organization as well. They’re more likely to speak highly of you, refer friends to you and sign up to volunteer again. But you’re busy! You can’t constantly be courting your volunteers in hopes they’ll help you out again.
Luckily your website can help boost volunteer satisfaction in four very important ways. By being a bit more strategic with you site, you shouldn’t have to dump much additional time to get better results when it comes to volunteer satisfaction.
1. Eliminate Points of Frustration
In order to boost volunteer satisfaction, first you need to remove as much frustration as you possibly can. With regards to using your website and volunteerism, I think of this frustration in two main buckets.
Frustration in finding info
Make it easy for volunteers to find all the information they’ll need, both about your organization and upcoming volunteer opportunities. Rely heavily on an intuitive website navigation to keep visitors from hunting for pages.
Ensure that all logistical information about upcoming events is also crystal clear. It should be obvious when and where an event is happening. No one wants to dig for this kind of info.
Frustration in signing up to volunteer
Focus on making your volunteer signup process simple as well. Only ask for information you absolutely need from potential volunteers.
Also be sure to test your volunteer signup process in multiple browsers (such as Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari). Sometimes forms will display differently across browsers. It’s important to ensure your volunteer signup process is working for all of your interested visitors.
2. Highlight the Importance of Volunteering
Volunteering is likely important to your organization. But your volunteers won’t know that unless you tell them. Tell them clearly. Tell them often.
You can do this in a variety of ways.
Showcase the impact of past volunteers
Showing the impact your past volunteers have had is a great way to boost excitement. It also makes it far more likely your volunteers will feel they’re making a difference by getting involved. This feeling can substantially boost satisfaction as well as the likelihood they’ll volunteer again in the future.
Make your appeal emotional
When asking folks to volunteer, appeal to their emotions. Use photos and videos to show the impact they could have by helping out.
It’s important that you inspire hope in your potential volunteers. If the problems you’re tackling feel impossible, volunteering seems meaningless. But if volunteers believe they can make a difference, there’s a far greater chance they’ll sign up to do so.
3. Be Honest
Tell me if this sounds familiar. You’re excited to volunteer only to end up doing something totally different than you were expecting. That doesn’t exactly make you eager to rush back into volunteering any time soon.
Tell volunteers what to expect before they show up. If the volunteer opportunity drastically differs from what they’re expecting, there’s not a great chance you’ll see them again.
You’ll want to avoid a situation like this:
What Organization Says
“Help us boost the aesthetic appeal of our facility”
What Volunteer Does
Pulls weeds and scrubs floors
Also avoid this:
What Organization Says
“Spend quality time with adorable children”
What Volunteer Does
Sorts clothing and disinfects toys while the kids take a nap
Set clear expectations and keep your word. You’ll likely get far more repeat volunteers if you do so.
4. Show Appreciation
Everyone likes to feel appreciated. Making your volunteers aware of your love for them can drastically boost their satisfaction and keep them engaged with your organization.
You can show appreciation in a lot of ways, including:
Thank volunteers privately – Send them an email or a handwritten note telling them how much they mean to your organization and the community you serve.
Thank volunteers publicly – Share your appreciation via social media or your website.
Showcase volunteer impact – Showing the impact your volunteers are having is a way to show you care. Thank your volunteers for not only giving their time, but also for making tangible differences in the world. You can tell them privately in personalized messages and publically via your website and social media.
Ask volunteers to share their experiences – Your volunteers can be huge assets for your organization. Ask them to tell their stories, sharing why they got involved and why they love your nonprofit. Tell these stories throughout your website, blog, social media and email newsletter.
Remember, happy volunteers are a whole lot more helpful to your organization and your mission than disgruntled ones. So keep them happy. And keep them coming back time and time again.
How do you promote volunteer satisfaction with your website? Do any of the suggestions above resonate with you? Let me know in the comments.
Image courtesy of Ben Smith