Results of my Salon on Managing the Volunteer Lifecycle

Another successful gathering of folks, this time to discuss volunteers in the context of non-profit organizations. Questions included: where to find volunteers, how to attract and retain them, holding volunteers accountable, and providing value and getting value.

Ideas generated discussion on:

• Volunteers as partners

• Providing role descriptions with expectations, just like employees

• Recognizing what volunteers want and need such as learning opportunities / experience, and metrics on their impact

• Volunteers do what they do partly because of their passions

“… organizational structures/supports that exist for paid work, also need to apply to non-paid work, and just as paid work organizations don’t always meet the needs of all staff (and therefore they become disengaged or leave), the same holds true for volunteer organizations – which was all reinforced for me last night.” – Salon participant

It’s a huge topic and one that is worthwhile revisiting, perhaps with a deep dive on a facet of the issue.

But for now having covered boards and volunteers, the last Salon in this series will be focused on donors. This will include individuals and corporations, sponsors and funders. We will examine the donor management process from acquisition through to retention, and dive into the challenges of balancing the needs of the non profit and the demands of donors. Timing probably in April 2013.

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