The two most important words in a Volunteer Manager’s Vocabulary! #wiseupwednesdays #volunteersweek @NCVOvolunteers

volunteers colourVolunteers Week is an important time in the volunteer manager’s calendar, but the  principles of  this week should run throughout your volunteer programme, interwoven with your day-to-day activities.

Let’s get thinking now about how you can show your volunteers you appreciate them, which in turn will lead to your volunteers staying with you as they will feel happy and valued. Retention is a talent volunteer managers need to cultivate!

I run regular information sessions in various volunteer management topics, including recruiting and retaining volunteers, and the list below includes some secrets for success from these sessions, willingly shared by people who manage volunteers:


  • Make your volunteers feel included, valued
  • Thank them! Pampering/events
  • Pay expenses where possible
  • Support them
  • Give them opportunity to progress if wanted
  • Respect them
  • Group volunteer meetings
  • Have just enough to do, not too much
  • Include in Christmas meals
  • Ask them for ideas
  • Be aware of friction between volunteers
  • Publicising their achievements – newsletter, newspapers
  • Other support available if you’re not there!
  • Being approachable/available
  • Respect them


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