9 Success Tips for Leading Volunteers

Every leader working with volunteers knows they can be the secret sauce that makes success happen or they can be a real pain to deal with.

Here are nine success tips to help you lead your volunteers.

  • Work with a plan. Have defined goals and objectives. Making time to plan and organize is critical for any successful activity.
  • Make sure staff is prepared to work with volunteers. Sometimes staff isn’t so thrilled about working with volunteers. Do you know why?   To successfully implement volunteer involvement, be sure to address issues staff may have.
  • Know their why. Individuals sign up for volunteer activity for their own reasons.  Make sure you understand what their motivation is and are working to fulfill their needs.
  • Get clarity on expectations, both yours and theirs, for each volunteer role.
  • Provide the orientation and training needed to get the job done.
  • Don’t delegate and forget. You get what you follow up on.  When following up with people you are supervising, ask specific questions to get specific answers.
  • Create a positive, fun volunteer experience.
  • Be intentional about selecting individuals to take on leadership responsibilities.   What are expectations? What skills and experiences are needed?
  • Show appreciation Volunteers want to feel appreciated and know their involvement is valued.  Showing appreciation, giving recognition, and simply saying thank you are critical for keeping volunteers motivated and engaged.


What are actions you can take to ensure success for working with your volunteers?

What are your tips for successfully working with volunteers to share with our nonprofit community?

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