The Importance of volunteer management and developing the right Framework for volunteers

Communication

Good communication with volunteers is essential to helping them stay enthusiastic and inspired and should begin from the first moment of contact with a volunteer. The more involved the volunteer gets the greater the potential for future volunteer support will become and ensure that they feel part of your club. Share information with them and try to involve your volunteers in decisions. Also, deal with any suggestions they have as quickly as possible, keeping an open mind regarding their viability.

Don't withhold any relevant information from volunteers as this can lead to a great deal of misunderstanding and mistrust, which could result in them leaving. Select appropriate methods of communication dependent on who that person or group is - for example, a newsletter may be fine for some people, but may not be the right thing for all.

Frequent communication:

  • Helps maintain volunteer interest.
  • Makes volunteers feel like they're part of the team.
  • Keeps everyone abreast of what's happening in the club.
  • Communicating with volunteers also helps you learn what's important to your volunteers, what training they need, whether they feel that the volunteering is working for them, and how they believe they can contribute to the development of the club 
  • Communication with volunteers is vital to keeping a happy and motivated volunteer workforce
“Organisations that use volunteers to recruit other volunteers have higher retention rates. Having volunteers represent the club implies trust, evidence of a positive organizational culture, and confidence that the club provides a worthwhile experience for volunteers.

Here’s how some clubs communicate with their volunteers:

  • Providing get-togethers or forums after training sessions or events
  • Dedicated volunteer meetings linked to a social event. 
  • Through club notice boards, signs and posters
  • Club newsletters
  • Group email or text messages
  • Having a suggestion box so that people who may be nervous or shy in voicing their opinions are given an opportunity to be heard

 

Communication is a two-way process. It is about sending messages and receiving them. If you want to get your message across, you must make sure that not only do you send the right message, but also that the message is correctly received and understood.