Communicating impact to volunteers is an essential part of any volunteer retention strategy. Volunteers need to be reassured that they are contributing to a worthy organization, and that their individual efforts are making a difference. Retaining volunteers is more than worth the effort it takes to convince them to renew their commitment. Long-term volunteers offer the highest return for the investment made (in terms of training and professional development), are valuable recruiters of new volunteers, and are more likely to donate financially than non-volunteers.
Communicating Volunteer Impact to Volunteers through Facts
There are many different ways of communicating volunteer impact to volunteers. Develop a multi-tiered communication strategy to appeal to the widest possible range of volunteers. Use your website, targeted emails, newsletters and social media accounts to share charts, graphs and reports that quantify your organization’s volunteer impact value. Offer a fact-based volunteer impact report that answers these and other questions volunteers routinely have about your organization’s finances and goals.
The following questions will show you how to measure volunteer impact:
- How much money has the organization raised?
- How was that money distributed?
- What is the volunteer impact value of your efforts?
- How many clients were served during a specific time frame or event?
- What organizational goals have been met or surpassed?
Communicating Volunteer Impact with Volunteer Impact Stories
Another important way of communicating volunteer impact to your volunteers is to share volunteer impact stories, photographs, and videos that illustrate how you are changing the world for the better. Don’t simply tell people your organization is making a difference, show them.
Share the triumphs of volunteers and clients alike. Keep in mind that people tend to respond more to specific, concrete examples rather than generalizations. The volunteers who have served longest with your organization most likely have a treasure trove of personal stories that illustrate why they support your mission and what impact they have personally made. Use your website, blog, newsletters and social media accounts to spread these volunteer impact stories.
- Invite volunteers to write guest blogs or testimonials that share their stories
- Share videos of successful events
- Share photographs of volunteers making a difference
Asking a volunteer to share a personal story of the impact they have made is also a way of thanking that individual and of recognizing their achievements. The stories that they share will inspire others, and perhaps attract new recruits to your mission. Emotions can be a powerful motivating force. Continually communicating volunteer impact to volunteers through sharing positive stories about your organization will help you develop a stable of satisfied volunteers. Research shows that satisfied volunteers are more likely to make a long-term commitment.
Ask for a demonstration to see how Galaxy Digital’s Get Connected volunteer management software can help you communicate the impact of volunteer programs on a host community.