Empowering Volunteers Increases Impact

Give Freedom

Let them volunteer how they want and when they want. Trust them.

Show Recognition

Don't let recognition slip when there's less structure.

Feel Connected

Let volunteers feel more connected to the mission.

Create an Environment for Volunteers to Thrive.

Volunteering is a beautiful thing for the volunteer and the organization. No relationship should ever be taken for granted. But too many times have volunteers come in with hope and excitement for it to just be fizzled by a non-intentional, non-supportive structure. Let's be real, organizers are stretched thin, it's impossible to manage and accommodate everybody, but sometimes organizations need to decide is a more informal structure better? Is quantity more important than quality? Usually that answer in life in now, but in volunteering it could be different. If the answer is even a maybe, then consider changing the structure to give volunteers more freedom.

By setting up a structure where volunteers can express their own generous creativity, you can empower volunteers to take ownership of the mission of your organization. Allow them to pitch their own ideas. Allow them to do activities on their own schedule. Allow them to represent the group's mission through their own passion. I know, that might sound like too much freedom, but you know what, sometimes doing good is better than not doing anything at all. If this can work for your organization, there's just one thing to not overlook, and that is making sure you are staying connected.

When you set up this structure, always make sure you know what the volunteer is doing and also appreciate them for what they put in as well. By having them log hours and being able to check in on them allows a level of decentralization of logistics but centralization of information that can really grow your volunteer base if you have those empowered volunteers.

So many times have we seen individuals start the same type of nonprofits because the structures were too limiting to express themselves in the way they wanted. In some ways, you can consider this a little bit inefficient since it takes lot of work to set up nonprofits. If a looser structure to allow volunteers to come in at any time works, try it out, it may make a very large difference for your organization and for the overall impact you are looking to create in the world.