63% of association CEOs/Executives say volunteer engagement has changed at their organization.
Volunteer engagement has changed for many organizations in recent years, with some seeing increased levels of interest and others experiencing a decrease. In a quick poll conducted by Avenue M in late August 2022 with 21 CEO/Association Executives, 29% indicated they experienced an increase, while over one-third (34%) reported a decrease. The most common reason cited for the decrease in volunteer engagement was increased workloads and burnout. “People are juggling too much,” shared one CEO panelist. (Click HERE to participate in future polls.)
Click HERE to participate in future polls.
Over the last two years, efforts to create more meaningful and relevant opportunities for members to volunteer appear to be underway with the launch of new governance structures, expanded committee assignments, and mentoring programs. Yet some executives shared they continue to face challenges when trying to increase engagement among underrepresented audience segments. Regardless of whether your organization is experiencing an increase or decrease in engagement, the following tips can help make the experience meaningful and rewarding.
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- Promote the mission and impact volunteers can have on the field, industry, or general population.
- Understand and adjust commitments to better align with volunteers’ schedules and limitations.
Make New Members Feel Welcome
According to Allison Klein, Senior Vice President of Strategic Engagement at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), “A few simple steps can make new members feel welcome.” Klein keeps an eye out for light-touch engagements that roll out the welcome mat for new members. She recommends three ways to engage members:
- Social media shoutout.
- Newsletter and magazine spotlights.
- Staff introduction and outreach.
5 Ways to Keep Your Volunteer Pipeline Full
The article covers five ideas to consider to increase your association’s volunteer health score.
- Increase the number of micro-volunteering opportunities with short assignments.
- Identify volunteers who may desire a deeper level of engagement.
- Reward volunteers and make them feel special.
- Use a staff liaison to improve the experience.
- Thank volunteers for their service in meaningful ways.
- Increase awareness of what is changing and why.
- Incorporate “WIIFM” (What’s in it for me?) into your communications.
- Communicate expectations and how changes will impact them.
- Provide members with training and resources so they have the ability to adapt to change.
- Share data on the positive impact of change.
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Contributor: Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE, President & CEO
(Image: Adobe Stock)