Do You Value The Volunteers In Your Nonprofit?
Starting a nonprofit organization is about the most admiral thing an entrepreneur can do. Forget big bucks and personal success; you’re using your skills to be the change you want to see in the world. And, if all goes well, your legacy will live on far longer than the latest product on the market.
The problem is that you only have enough money to pay yourself a small amount. And, it’s rare for even that to get over minimum wage. As such, paying staff is out of the question. If you did go down that route, the people who put their trust and money in what you’re doing would soon lose faith. After all, they aren’t paying for you to deck your workplace. They’re paying for the cause in question. While you can just about wrangle your wage, the wiggle room stops there.
Still, after a certain point, you’re going to need others on board. And, that means taking on volunteers. Yet, while most of us know the basics of taking care of employees, few of us are versed in the volunteer world. How can you ensure these people keep coming back? How can you be certain they’re happy? This is crucial given that they have no wage to motivate them. And, we’re going to look at three ways you can achieve it.
Do what you can to ease the workload
Even things we do for fun can get stressful if there’s too much work. And, your volunteers might soon turn and run if the workload is too high. If they spend their hours continually on the go or doing jobs you should, you’ll struggle to keep them. As such, do whatever you can to lighten the workload. It may be that means taking more on your shoulders. Or, it might even mean turning to outsourced services for issues like IT. These do require some payment, but there are non profit IT services out there which shouldn’t break the bank. And, they’re still sure to cost less than a paid workforce would. That’s the best of both worlds.
Make it worth their while
Volunteers aren’t looking for reward. They’re working with you because they believe in your cause. That’s great. But, if you want to keep people onboard, consider other ways to make it worth their while. For instance, you could give them a reference. Even better, you could sign them up for things like first aid courses if they’re relevant. These are tangible things which can help in their outside lives. And, that could go a long way towards keeping them happy.
Find alternative forms of reward
Lastly, find alternative ways to reward volunteers. You can’t afford to pay them, and that’s fair enough. But, you could look for alternatives. Buying food for everyone, for instance, or offering a discount if you have a shop. This may not seem like much, but it’s a small gesture which will go a long way towards boosting morale and keeping volunteers onside.