During #GivingTuesdayNow, Neon One helped power giving events that helped 15,369 people pledge 515,778 volunteer hours in their communities. That is a lot of generosity! Yet how can your organization take the momentum that comes from a giving day and turn that into year round energy for your new volunteers.
Let’s unpack the three key steps you can take to engage new volunteers that you’ve recruited from a community giving event.
Your organization should treat your new volunteers the same way you should be treating new donors – with an enthusiastic embrace. Creating a series of communications and programs that help energize your new volunteers will go a long way in keeping them with your organization for a long time. Here’s a few ideas on how to kickstart this for your organization:
- Host a virtual celebration of these new volunteers, updating them on the success you had with the giving event itself
- Create an onboarding email series that is triggered by their start date with your organization
- Give them a gift from your organization – it can be as simple as a sticker of your organization’s logo that they can put on their laptop
Studies show that up to ⅓ of volunteers stop supporting their organization after one year, so ensuring that they feel supported as early as possible is key to maintaining the energy that comes from a giving day. There are a few simple yet effective strategies your organization can put into place to ensure long term success with your volunteers:
- Start with the basics of what a nonprofit organization actually is and how your organization operates. Don’t assume that a new volunteer is familiar with the business model of nonprofits themselves
- Have clear lines of communication established regarding who they need to connect with for their positions, which will greatly streamline the experience for these new volunteers
- Create a comprehensive yet flexible volunteer orientation manual to help volunteers understand the roles and responsibilities they’ve agreed to when joining your organization
Just like donors want to know the impact of their contributions, volunteers are going to want to understand how the work they’re doing is creating a positive impact in the mission that they are supporting. Here’s a few ways that your organization can create a feedback loop that keeps volunteers engaged and potentially turns them into donors as well.
- Create a dedicated newsletter for volunteers that spotlights the work that individuals and groups are doing as well as telling stories about the programs they are supporting
- Carve out a section in your annual report that is specific to the work that volunteers are doing, intentionally spotlighting a volunteer that you recruited from your successful giving day
- Create a retrospective one year later about the volunteers you recruited on your giving event and include them in any promotion you do for the giving event in the next year, including interviewing them on a live stream
By employing these strategies and tactics, your organization will be able to turn the energy created from the moment of a giving event into momentum that powers your volunteer team for the rest of the year and into the future.