Sustain volunteer involvement

Retention for its own sake, is not necessarily an indicator of success. Volunteers move on for all sorts of reasons and to equip them with the necessary, skills and confidence to do this is a valid aim for some organisations, particularly those who may involve volunteers from socially excluded groups.

However, sustaining a volunteer’s involvement in your organisation is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • It is likely to provide a better service for your clients who may be unsettled by constant changes in personnel
  • It is cost effective, saving on recruitment, training and other costs of involving new volunteers
  • It gives the volunteer the time to become fully competent with any new skills learned
  • It increases a sense of team working


Strategies for retaining volunteers

  • Ensure everyone in the organisation knows why you involve volunteers
  • Ensure staff know exactly what the volunteers will be doing
  • Have a clear volunteer policy
  • Ensure that there is a thorough induction process
  • Use role descriptions and only change after consultation with the volunteer
  • Give regular time for supervision
  • Get to know your volunteers
  • Make sure you have ways of supporting volunteers who want to take on new responsibilities
  • Plan ways to recognise and reward your volunteers
  • Have a training programme
  • Involve volunteers in decision making