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Volunteer Motivation & Coordination

Every Nonprofit Organization Depend on its Volunteers
       You might say that volunteers are the reason for an organization's success. Without a plan to recruit and retain volunteers, the existing individuals will become extremely stressed and may feel they deserve some measure of entitlement since they are bearing the burden of doing most of the work.

       Leadership of any organization must be responsive to the needs of its members. Recruiting volunteers should start with the organization's membership! It's is more efficient and the ratio of benefits to costs demonstrates the desirability of recruiting from the existing membership base who is presumed to share the same goals and aspirations with the organization's by-laws.

       After identifying potential volunteers, a formal training program must be in place so each individual understands what is expected and who will be their direct supervisor. Without any training, the prospects of retaining existing volunteers is unlikely. A constant turnover of volunteers is a RED FLAG!  Ignore this warning at your peril. 

The Task is to Motative Volunteers
       No organization that relies upon volunteers can be successful without the right individual who is assigned to work with volunteers by providing a positive environment and supportive training,. The role of management is to keep volunteers motivated to ensure they are happy and feel positive about their assignments. The happier volunteers are, the more positive they will be able continuing to volunteer.

      In any group of volunteers performing similar tasks, each person is an individual and what motivates one person won't necessarily motivate another.

Recognizing the difference between positive and negative motivation.
      Motivating volunteers and athletes in a positive manner is important if you wish them to remain of a period of multiple years. Positive motivation is based on recognition and other rewards for positive results and performances. If you treat volunteers and athletes like intelligent individuals and they will be willing to go the extra mile for you and your organization. Treat them as if they are a  1st grader, and you will experience a rebellion.

      Negative strategies to achieve motivation includes:

  • Intimidation
  • Threatening punishment for not performing a task to your standards.
  • Mental harassment.
  • Physical harassment.

What is the best way to motivate volunteers in a positive manner?
       The following are some tips for keeping your volunteers motivated day after day, week after week:
  1. Provide breaks for food, rest, and use the rest room
  2. Encourage volunteers to take breaks, drink water and get a good night's sleep before showing up. This is particularly important in performing a physically demanding assignment in extremely cold or hot conditions.
  3. Treat volunteers with respect.
  4. Be understanding when volunteers call at the last minute to indicate they will not be able to make a commitment. Be sure to ask if they is anything you can do to help.
  5. Hold regular meetings, conference calls, or video conferences to keep them in the loop on the overall progress of a project and allow them an opportunity to provide input.
  6. Be assessable. Encourage them to feel comfortable to ask you questions and express their concerns, and provide input. Try to check-in with them from time to time with an email, text, or phone call.
  7. Establish a chain of command. No one is capable of successfully running a project alone.
  8. Don't allow yourself to micro manage. Identify someone who can function in your absence.
  9. Try to be as accurate and detailed as necessary to accomplish the task or plan a project by providing clear and concise goals from the beginning so volunteers have the necessary direction to be successful.
  10. Always provide positive recognition of a volunteer's accomplishments. A little praise goes a long way in saying "Thank you for your time and effort in making the project being a success.
  11. Establish a feeling of team work and camaraderie. Make an effort to build a sense of community among your group of volunteers by hosting a social event like a barbecue before starting the project. The goal is to allow volunteers to mingle, become comfortable with each other, and develop bonds with one another.
  12. Be flexible and understanding. Many people, including yourself will have personal and work obligations that will occasionally conflict with volunteering.
  13. Lead by example! Don't demand anything of your volunteers that you yourself wouldn't be willing to do.  It is important to show volunteers you are willing to work hard, too.
  14. Don't be an armchair supervisor. Provide demonstrations and training so everyone is on the same page.
Recommended Reading:

Dr Judy Esmond is a leading international expert on volunteering.  You can also read so many more of her ideas on volunteer management, recruiting and recognizing volunteers and members by subscribing at Download her articles -

PDF Sustaining volunteer motivation in the nonprofit ... The study sought to identify what motivated volunteers to join the nonprofit, as well as what factors motivated them to leave,

PDF Determining Volunteer Motivations - MSU Extension ...  Determining Volunteer Motivations - A Key to Success. Joanne Schultinik, Volunteerism AOE Team Member. Mary J. Riley, Volunteerism AOE Team Member.


PDF Motivating Volunteers - University of Nevada  Motivating Volunteers. JoAnne Skelly, Carson City / Storey County Extension Educator. Roles of Volunteers. Volunteers are an important resource.

Understanding and Motivating Volunteers   May 2005 - When involved in a nonprofit organization, board members, committee chairs, and volunteers have individual behavioral styles that differ from their other work environments. To form more effective relationships, nonprofit leaders should adapt their behavioral style to complement their volunteers.

Want better volunteers? Understand their motivation — Evidence ...   April 23, 2010 ... Snyder is exploring what can be done to move general motivation into actually volunteering. As part of his research, he has developed the ...

Using Motivational Types to Place Volunteers in the Right Job   How do you motivate volunteers? First, understand that motivation will come from the volunteer, not you. Your job is to find out about their personality type and ...

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Focus of USFS Clubs
  Figure Skating Club Topics
Your Local Skating Club
Communicating with Club Members
Skating Workshop Plans
Special Olympians Program
Seminar Ideas & Topics
Amateur Ice Shows
Rink Facilities & Club Activities
Skating Events
Well Balanced Program Cards
Interpreting Judges 6.0 Scores
Becoming A Judge 
PDF  Conflict Management
PDF  Personal Experience of home schooling
PDF  Financial Donations
PDF  Athlete Funding Opportunities
PDF  USFS Sponsorship Information

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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