How To Keep Your Volunteers Coming Back, And Why That Matters


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Volunteers are the life blood of many nonprofit organizations. Their donated time runs countless events, fundraisers, and help nonprofits get one step closer to completing their mission every day.

You might be thinking: “Sure, of course I know my volunteers are important. This isn’t new information. How else would my nonprofit have pulled off our last event without them?”

But, take a step back, and think hard about how aggressively you’ve tried to keep your volunteers engaged and involved with your nonprofit in the past? How many of your volunteers have been with your organization for over a year? Over 3, or even 10 years?

Have you ever sent personalized thank you letters or individualized emails? Or have you or your CEO made it a point to thank them in person? Or is it even possible for you to check how long you’ve had volunteers giving their time to your nonprofit?

If the answer’s no to any or all of these questions, you may want to start thinking about ways to boost your volunteer retention rates.

Whether it’s through saying thank you more, handing out t-shirts, or finding ways to get your volunteers more ingrained with your nonprofit increasing your volunteer retention rates can pay huge dividends to your nonprofit both now and in the future.

Why retaining volunteers is critical

For starters, according to a study conducted by the Independent Sector values a volunteer’s time is so valuable to a nonprofit, it is worth what you would pay an employee around $22.55 per hour. What’s more is, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, volunteers give up to ten times more than other Americans.

That’s money saved in employee wages, and money earned in charitable contributions.

The bottom line is, nonprofits everywhere need volunteers to operate effectively. Whether it’s through their monetary donations, or the time they spend making your nonprofit go, without them, accomplishing your mission might not be possible.

So, if volunteers are so important to your nonprofit, why don’t you spend more time making sure they come back and continue contributing their time and hard work to make your nonprofit a success? Their time should be looked at as valuable as a monetary donation, because, well, it is!

Here are a few ways your nonprofit can start making sure one-time volunteers turn into life long contributors to your nonprofit in more ways than one.

So how can you keep your volunteers around, and giving back to your nonprofit a little longer? Believe it or not, it’s easy! By spending more time paying attention to their needs, you might find yourself inundated in volunteer requests for your next event.

Here are a few simple ideas to get your started.

Give them an email address

If your nonprofit uses domain specific email addresses, allocating an email address for your volunteers to use for their interactions with your nonprofit is a great way to help them to feel official, and included with your nonprofit.

Start tracking analytics

Using a CRM system like VolunteerConnect to track your volunteer’s statistics is a great way to start keeping a closer eye on who is giving their time and energy to your nonprofit. With a tool like VolunteerConnect, you can easily parse through stored information, store contact details, and even view and sign up for volunteer opportunities completely on their own.

Say thank you

Sounds simple enough. And maybe you already do. But saying thank you in person, or sending a hand written note thanking someone for their hard work is the best way to show your appreciation.


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