Volunteer Retention Tips

Regular communication

Communicate regularly with your committee and members. Keeping up to date and informed is important. If you are not using email to communicate, you may be missing valuable opportunities.

Understand member motivations

Volunteering must be a two way relationship with benefits for both parties. Ask each member why they joined. Use the answers to strengthen your retention. Individuals motivations change, so ask on a regular basis.

For many younger people, volunteering is an important avenue for professional development and one of the key membership benefits.

Recognise different abilities

Different people are able to handle different amounts and types of work. Recognise different abilities and tolerance levels in distributing work to members. Don’t let a small number of people take on all the work. Find creative ways to get everyone involved.

Pay individual attention

Get to know each individual and understand what motivates them and what they would like to do.

Committee survey

Conduct an annual committee and membership survey to assess satisfaction of both governance, meetings, your events and activities. Solicit ideas from committee for improving their experience.

Avoid volunteer burnout

Burn out occurs for lots of reasons: there is too much work to be done, too few rewards, too few people involved, too little fun. Avoid burnout by setting realistic objectives, involving as many members as possible, providing praise for work well done and building in time for fun.

Conduct exit reviews

Where possible, gather accurate information about why individual members are leaving your organisation. Look for common themes, particularly in areas where you have some control. Develop an appropriate plan of action and implement it.


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