As an Association Management firm, CMA understands how important volunteers are to an association. Most associations survive thanks to the numerous hours of work from volunteer boards and committee members. April was National Volunteer Month, but there are many ways you can continuously show appreciation and recognition to those volunteers currently serving in the association and also share ideas of how to recruit new volunteers.
Ways to recognize current volunteers… One of the best ways to retain volunteers is by showing appreciation. On this month’s board or committee call, make sure to thank everyone for their time and dedication to the association. E-cards or hand written notes are a special touch that will make volunteers feel appreciated this month. Send an e-blast to the membership that highlights the current board members and committee members. Include a section on your website or newsletter to highlight a volunteer super-star each month.
Events are also a great time to showcase volunteers. List committee members in conference materials, attach Board or Committee ribbons to their name tags, do anything that makes a volunteer stand apart from a regular member. Annual Conferences are also a great place to present committee members with a thank you gift. Something simple such as a Starbucks gift card goes a long way to making a volunteer feel appreciated.
How to recruit new volunteers… Include a “shout-out” for new volunteers in the same e-blasts to members recognizing the current board and committee members. Include brief descriptions of the committees and contact information so that prospective volunteers will be able to easily contact a current committee member if they have any questions regarding responsibilities.
Just as events are a great place to recognize volunteers, they are also a great place to recruit new ones. Allow each committee chair to give a brief description of their committee to attendees. The Event Service Professionals Association (ESPA) has each of their committee chairs wear a button that says “I’m a Chair, come sit with me.” If an attendee sits with them to discuss a committee and potentially volunteering the attendee is entered into a raffle for complimentary webinar registrations. This is an easy way to educate members on the committees and has been very successful in recruiting new volunteers each year.
Our associations here at CMA could not run without our dedicated board members and committee chairs and members. We’d like to thank each and every one of them who has volunteered to make our associations grow. Please share your ideas on showing appreciation to current volunteers or recruiting new ones.