Many have heard the old saying, “It’s better to give than to receive.” The volunteers in your community understand the benefits of being of service. After all, that’s what drives them to selflessly offer their talents and resources to organizations like yours.
The question is: Do you see the value volunteers could be providing to your organization?
It can be easy to overlook the incredible potential that volunteers bring to the table because of the time and energy needed to steward them correctly. Still, when volunteer engagement is prioritized as a core leadership value, the resulting benefits can be tremendous.
Here are four ways volunteers can have far-reaching impacts on your organization.
Reduce Operation Costs
“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.” – Sherry Anderson
While it can be challenging to quantify the financial value of a volunteer, you can easily measure the savings you’re accruing when you don’t have to employ paid staff to complete specific tasks.
On top of that, volunteers are often willing to jump in during the holidays, which is usually a challenging time to involve employees who want to take vacation.
Curb Staff Turnover & Burnout
Nobody likes to lose high-quality workers, and replacing personnel is an expensive undertaking. Turnover can be reduced by scaling a base of volunteers to multiply your impact.
Drawing support from a robust volunteer workforce can make your staff feel supported. To take things further, try moving beyond the approach of simply training volunteers to work alongside staff by strategically coaching employees to delegate responsibilities to volunteers directly.
“Many hands make light work” and you’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll be able to accomplish when everyone’s morale is boosted.
Expand Your Outreach & Awareness
One of the significant hurdles of competing in a modern marketplace is breaking through all the noise. Without an effective communications strategy, you’re likely to be drowned out. Here’s a silver lining: You can leverage your network of volunteers to amplify your message.
Utilize the social capital of your volunteers’ networks to connect with new audiences through word-of-mouth marketing. Cultivate an outreach team that can plan community events and distribute information. Recruit skills-based branding volunteers to leverage pro-bono consultations.
Your volunteers are your greatest advocates. Tap into that passion for spreading the word.
Boost Development Efforts
Volunteers can aid development teams in raising awareness, telling their stories, making targeted asks and financially giving themselves. They can also play a part in retaining your valued supporters, as they understand what your organization has achieved because they have been part of the process.
Both donors and volunteers often contribute time and financial gifts to the organizations they love and should be stewarded with care. Volunteers, however, are likely to continue finding ways to support you when they’ve had an exceptional firsthand experience and find meaning in their involvement.
So, put simply, are volunteers worth it? Is the time and effort you will invest in supporting them going to pay off? The answer has been proven time and time again: Yes, volunteers are an invaluable resource to any organization, and now is the time to start bringing them closer.
The more you keep volunteers in the loop and develop their skills, the more positive impacts you will see ripple throughout your day-to-day operations. Start building a safety net for your future success and longevity by investing more in volunteers today.
If you aren’t sure where to get started, reach out to our volunteer engagement specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to help you reach your goals!