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Finding and Retaining Volunteers (Based on Steve Peyrot Presentation). Gabe Goldberg APCUG Region 2 Advisor CPCUG APCUG Representative Food for Thought.

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finding and retaining volunteers based on steve peyrot presentation

Finding and RetainingVolunteers(Based on Steve Peyrot Presentation)

Gabe Goldberg

APCUG Region 2 Advisor

CPCUG APCUG Representative

food for thought
Food for Thought

“If your volunteer recruitment or retention efforts are aimed at no one in particular, don’t be surprised if no one in particular responds to them.”

-- Rick Lynch

requirements for today
Requirements for Today
  • Enthusiasm….
  • Occasional clapping and cheering
  • Cell phones off
  • No private conversations
  • Tell everyone who was not here today that they missed the best presentation EVER!!
begin at the beginning
Begin at the Beginning!
  • Volunteer recruitment/retention is a task for board members and current volunteers.
  • Document volunteer information during officer rotations.
  • Involve everyone!!
  • Small groups often have higher volunteer participation.
  • Social activities help people volunteer.
today s resources
Today’s Resources
  • Introductions
  • Slides
  • Conversation
  • Ideas
  • What works, best practices
  • Success stories and failures
  • Comments
  • Fun


  • Name
  • Role (member, volunteer, director, officer)
  • User group name, size, location
  • Previous positions
  • Interests
  • Something unique about your area or
  • Something unique about you
before asking for help
Before Asking for Help
  • Set organizational priorities
  • Determine what help you need
  • Describe responsibility (not “job”)
  • Be realistic…
promote organization needs
Promote Organization Needs




Volunteer organizations and Web sites


recognize and exploit diversity
Recognize and Exploit Diversity

Volunteers, like regular members, have varied backgrounds…

…so recognize diversity to include people with different skills and ideas for the “right fit”

getting started
Getting Started
  • Have a “more information” sheet and a short brochure at meetings for members to read about your organization’s “needs”.
  • Recruit members for small tasks to “get their feet wet”.
Steps to Recruit/Retain Volunteers
  • Set up Web site area dedicated to volunteers.  Keep them informed.
  • Ensure volunteers understand what is expected of them.
  • Explain goals and tasks; be a resource if they have questions or concerns.
Small Efforts vs.

Long-Range Commitments

Note and remember individual talents; ask if they will contribute in a specific area or would like to suggest an area.  Many are reluctant to volunteer but will help if asked.


Train Sufficiently

  • Volunteers are excited to help. Remember, they found you and want to contribute their time and effort to your organization.
  • Provide tools necessary to succeed.

Record Contact Information

  • Name & address
  • Telephone numbers
  • e-mail address(es)
  • Note observed traits, passions, strengths, weaknesses – as a manager knows an employee.
apply the golden rule
Apply the Golden Rule
  • Make volunteers feel welcome
  • Introduce to other staff members
  • Set expectations
  • Train sufficiently
  • Provide a purpose
  • Be honest
  • Create ground rules
  • Show appreciation
the approach
The Approach
  • Honest
  • Personal
  • Consider organization’s welfare
  • At first, avoid using the word “volunteer”
  • Rather, explain a need
  • Be enthusiastic!
create groundrules
Create Groundrules
  • Volunteers are eager to help, but while they aren't employees, they may still need to follow general organizational policies.
  • Establish important rules or guidelines before volunteers get started.
retain volunteers
Retain Volunteers
  • Assign responsibilities – not jobs!
  • Empower volunteers as needed
  • Support each other
  • Encourage fellowship
  • Ensure that volunteers are well informed
  • Keep it professional – not political
motivate volunteers
Motivate Volunteers
  • Start small
  • Praise
  • Recognize
  • Reward volunteer of month/quarter/year
invigorate volunteers
Invigorate Volunteers
  • Be enthusiastic
  • Officer level volunteers
  • Helper volunteers
  • Future assignments
  • Follow-up and follow-through
  • Encourage
  • Know capabilities and strengths
prevent burnout
Prevent Burnout
  • Plan replacements
  • Cross train
  • Rotate responsibilities
  • Manage “career development”
  • Communicate
  • Observe
reward volunteers
Reward Volunteers
  • Priority for book/product reviews
  • Reserved seating
  • Freebies (classes, membership, Pig SIG, …)
  • Other (Be creative!)
know appreciate recognize
  • Learn volunteers’ names
  • Send birthday cards
  • Recognize anniversaries
  • Acknowledge special efforts
  • Do off-the-wall, fun, simple things
  • Send notes, personalized items, etc.
  • Communicate needs to members
  • Start small and nurture
  • Deliver praise and recognition
  • Define tasks
  • Know volunteers’ capabilities
  • Avoid burnout
  • Empower volunteers into leadership