Staff & Volunteer Engagement

Fulfilling a nonprofit mission is a collaborative effort.  Staff members and volunteers are your most important resource.  You should invest in them, set clear expectations and provide feedback on their performance.  This environment is set from the top down. 

Most days in the nonprofit world the 'to do' list is much longer than there are hours in the day.  You may ask yourself "I have to worry about donors, the board, strategy, fiscal sustainability and responsibility, program integrity, marketing......and the staff and volunteers?  People who are supposed to be helping me with that 'to do' list!"

The answer is "YES!"

Appreciated, passionate staff and volunteers will help you with that long to do list and speak well about the nonprofit if they feel valued.

From the 2015 UST Nonprofit Employee Engagement and Retention Report
Gallup defines engaged employees as those who are “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and contribute to their organization in a positive manner.” With the nonprofit sector growing rapidly, engagement in the workplace is vital to the health of an organization as it grows.
One of the key takeaways from the report:
Culture, mission, and purpose are key drivers of satisfaction for nonprofit employees. It’s important to communicate purpose to employees to keep them engaged from the outset. Setting goals that directly affect the mission, and celebrating their successes, is one of the best ways to keep employees engaged and increase retention. Culture is driven by the values that the organization and its managers express—so make sure any core beliefs and desired behaviors are communicated from the top down and are tied to your mission.
From Strategic Volunteer Engagement - A Guide for Nonprofits

Despite the idiosyncratic role of volunteer involvement within the nonprofit and public sectors, remarkably few organizations possess the knowledge to strategically maximize this advantage. Equally few decision-makers understand the basic constructs of volunteer engagement. Many in top leadership positions do not know what they might expect from an engaged volunteer workforce, nor are they aware of the critical importance of an infrastructure designed to facilitate and support commu - nity engagement.

Your parents were right.  Manners matter.  

A little appreciation goes

a long way!