How to Create a Fantastic Volunteer Experience

A fantastic volunteer experience is the cornerstone of any thriving nonprofit. It’s the key to attracting and retaining dedicated volunteers who will boost your people power and amplify your impact.

From tech-forward solutions to personalized engagement, there are essential components that make volunteers feel valued and connected to your nonprofit. In this article, we’ll explore the vital components that ensure volunteers feel valued, connected, and eager to engage with your organization throughout their journey.

orange background with 2 volunteers holding a box with confetti coming out and text saying "How to Create a Fantastic Volunteer Experience"

The Fundamentals of a Great Volunteer Experience

A memorable, positive volunteer experience begins with the fundamentals. Let’s break down key components that underpin a successful and satisfying experience for your volunteers.

  • 📱 Tech-Forward Approach: It’s important to meet volunteers where they are, online. Posting to a volunteer app means they can easily find your opportunities and streamline communication.
  • 🖋️ Instant Signup: Volunteers hate playing phone or email tag to sign up. Give them an easy way to instantly sign-up to volunteer and reminders that get sent automatically so they never miss an event.
  • ⏲️ Automatic Hours Tracking: Simplify reporting and enhance transparency—use tech that automatically tracks volunteer hours and even gives you the capability to see reports by group or program. You can use this to easily share impact and volunteer hour data with event co-hosts and corporate volunteer group partners!
  • 📊 Personalized Impact Report: Showcase the impact volunteers make with a personal impact report. Include hours volunteered, any donations, and personalized stories about how their efforts contributed to the community you serve.
  • 🛠️ Streamlined Onboarding: Efficient onboarding processes ensure that volunteers are ready to make a meaningful impact from day one. Making sure it’s as streamlined as possible also reduces the dreaded volunteer dropoff that happens in the time period between interest and involvement.
  • 🌟 Well-Planned Volunteer Events: This is KEY! No one likes to show up and be confused or lost. Ensure volunteers have all the information they need for a successful engagement, from event logistics to their role and tasks.

Meeting Volunteer Expectations

To create a fantastic volunteer experience, it’s vital to meet the expectations of your volunteers. Of course they are looking to make a positive impact and do more good in their communities. Informing them how the tasks they’re doing support your mission goes a long way.

But they are also giving your organization their time, which is the most precious resource we have. So make sure it’s worth their while!

  • 🌱 Skill Growth Opportunities: Volunteers seek opportunities to enhance their skills and expertise while contributing to your mission. See if there’s anything they want to learn that your nonprofit can benefit from, like graphic design, social media management, experience with fundraising, etc.
  • 🤝 Community Connection: Building a sense of community and fostering connections among volunteers creates a more fulfilling experience. Make sure that volunteers are introduced to each other and the staff, and take time to get to know them.
  • 😃 Appreciation and Recognition: Volunteers want to feel that their effort is genuinely appreciated. Make sure you have a strategy in place, from little things like thank you emails after events to bigger tokens of gratitude like volunteer appreciation days.

Improve your Volunteer Experience with POINT

Not to toot our own horns here, but POINT was literally created to ensure your volunteers have the best experience possible. From the free volunteer app that allows them to find new nonprofits (like yours!) based on the causes they care about, to the personalized impact reports on their profile, volunteers love us.

Help volunteers help you! Sign up for your free POINT account today and start leveling up your volunteer experience. They’ll appreciate it. And you will too, once you see all of our incredible features. They were specifically built to support incredible changemakers like you ✨

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Photo Lindsey Schad
Lindsey Schad
Head of Communication Team

No guilt trips, no sad stories. Just a chance to do something good.