7 Tips for Keeping Your Volunteers Engaged

These days it can be hard to keep people focused and interested. Organizations need volunteers to help them achieve their goals. Sometimes, having dedicated and long-term volunteers can be a tricky feat. We’ve put together a list of to-dos for non-profits like yours to keep their volunteers committed and interested.


1. Incentivize Volunteers with a Rewards System

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Implement a rewards system for volunteers. This can range from providing a free T-shirt after a year of volunteering to creating a competition among volunteers with a prize for whoever does the most. Honor top volunteers by mentioning them by name in your newsletters. Sometimes, recognition is the best reward of all. Incentivizing volunteers with competition or rewards will keep people interested and eager to continue helping.  

2. Connect Volunteers with the Cause

Allow volunteers to meet someone who is affected by your cause. Creating a relationship between volunteers and the people they’re helping is a nice way to incentivize your volunteers. Once volunteers have a more personal and human connection to the cause, they will be more inclined to continue helping.

3. Send Out Monthly Progress Reports

Send out monthly newsletters detailing the progress of your organization. People want to know that their time, efforts, and money have achieved something whether directly or not. Share volunteers’ success stories and demonstrate the important difference volunteers can make.


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4. Promote Volunteers to Larger Roles

Some of your volunteers may be natural leaders. Given the opportunity, they may go above and beyond what is requested of them. Allow opportunities for volunteers to be advisors, managers, or board members.


5. Provide Impact Reports to Donors

After someone has donated to your organization, respond with a thank you and a rough idea of the level of impact that the donation made, incentivizing people to continue to give. Introduce a leveled system according to donation size.


6. Introduce Matches Further than Donations

Ask a group of your most dedicated volunteers to match what your target volunteers help with for a certain amount of time. Take matching past donations and double your volunteer productivity. 

7. Lastly, Be Accessible

Hold meetings for volunteers in different areas. Meetings are vital to making sure that volunteers have a sense of direction going forward. Have a member of the organization attend and foster a sense of community. The more comfortable volunteers feel, the more willing they will be to help. Make the volunteers know that they are more than just numbers to your organization by respecting them.

Think about your volunteers’ motives. Cater to why you think they’re donating their time to your organization and make the experience as fun as possible.

Kate Dragonetti is a freelance writer for DipJar. She spent four years raising funds and going on builds for Habitat for Humanity and plans on continuing to be a dedicated volunteer.