Well-managed and motivated volunteers can serve as one of your most valuable resources for your event. When fueled by appreciation and filled with a sense of meaning, even a small group of volunteers can function as an army of help ushering in organizational synergy.
That said, a group of disorganized volunteers will cause more headache than help.
Below are six ways to effectively manage your volunteers in a way that will yield an enormous return.
1. Recruit People With Real Interest
While you want volunteers, the reality is, you don’t want just any volunteer. You want volunteers who will find joy and satisfaction in contributing to your event.
When recruiting volunteers, keep an eye out for people who are genuinely interested in your event.
People who are already invested in your event space—whether it’s because of a favorite band or an affinity for a certain type of food—will work tirelessly to see that it succeeds.
2. Rally a Volunteer Community
It’s not unusual for event volunteers to forge friendships and long-lasting bonds while working together for a shared goal. Why not give them a head start?
Create a Facebook group so volunteers can connect and build positive anticipation before the event. As a bonus, they can help each other with logistics like carpooling and lodging.
3. Make the Most of Their Strengths
Remember that your volunteers are individuals with a variety of strengths, experiences, passions, and expertise. Take the time to learn about your volunteers. Then, when it comes time to delegate tasks, give each volunteer a responsibility that matches their unique talents.
By tapping into each individual’s motivations and strengths, you earn loyal volunteers who want to bring more to the table.
4. Clearly Communicate Directions and Expectations
Communicating with your volunteers early on builds unity and enhances clarity. Don’t wait until the hour before the event to brief your volunteers about their roles and your expectations.
Each volunteer should bounce out of bed the morning of your event with a clear idea of their purpose—collectively and individually.
5. Don’t Neglect Them During the Event
Regardless of initial excitement levels, very few people can feel pumped up when dehydrated, hangry, or standing statue-still for 10 hours straight. You can help your volunteers stay energetic and on task by ordering sandwiches, offering them plenty of water, and encouraging them to take breaks when needed.
Keep your volunteers nourished and hydrated so they can flourish in their roles.
6. Express Gratitude After the Event
Appreciation is fuel, and you want to make sure your volunteers leave with full tanks. Send them away with thank you notes, swag, or even a thank you gift.
Give them a shoutout on social media. Host an appreciation dinner. Make sure your volunteers feel recognized and valued for their efforts.
7: Offer Exclusive Perks
Appreciation goes a long way, but perhaps nothing beats an exclusive perk for volunteers that gives them a unique and memorable experience for your event.
If you run an adventure themed summer camp, perhaps you offer a friends and family exclusive afternoon on the zip line and high ropes course before it is open to the general public. For a seminar, you could offer volunteers a short meet and greet with the keynote speaker.
Think of something that would be meaningful, unique, and special for the volunteers that the average joe-schmo might not get to experience. This kind of thank you will go a long way in thanking volunteers for their efforts and keep them coming back
Volunteer management takes effort, but if you use the principles above, your volunteer base will act as a force multiplier for your event.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to our support team.
We're to help you host your most successful event ever!
— The RegFox Team