VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette
RECRUITING AND RETENTION
Visit this page for ideas, suggestions
and hints to build recruitment capacity.
Return to 2002
| ~ July 2002 ~
- A Question from Ask Connie
- Mentoring: A Retention Tool
- Are You Losing Donors?
A Question from Ask Connie
The subject of volunteers and fundraising has many layers and
variations. The one that many volunteer program managers struggle
with is whether or not to solicit financial contributions from
their direct-service volunteers (not volunteer board members or
trustees). I'd like to hear from you!
Are the volunteers in your organization solicited for financial
contributions? If so, how? If not, why? Please send your responses
to me AskConnieP@cs.com,
and I'll share the results of this informal poll in my September
Thanks for your help and Happy Summer!
Mentoring: A Retention Tool
Turnover off employees is as big a headache for businesses
as volunteer turnover is for nonprofit and governmental programs.Business
has found a tool that helps slow the turnover rate. In a study by The
Center for Creative Leadership (North Carolina) 77% of companies reported
that mentoring programs were effective in retention of employees. In
a study by The Managers Mentors (California), 60% of college seniors
listed mentoring as a criteria for selecting an employer after graduation.
While no statistics on mentoring volunteers exists, the impact of mentors
from elementary schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, and businesses cannot
be over stated. Perhaps it is time to begin a volunteer mentoring program.
Here are some suggestions to get started.
- Form a small mentoring planning team. Bring in volunteers who are
natural helpers for other volunteers, staff who want to help improve
the retention rate.
- Collect and publish for the group the history of the attrition rate
over the last few years. What is the number of volunteers leaving
on an annual basis? Try to determine what it costs to replace those
- Visit a library, the Internet, or a local business with a strong
mentoring program. Gather information on how to organize a program
from a practical perspective.
- With the committee, plan the steps to organize a pilot-mentoring
project. Be sure to include such things as: position descriptions
for mentors, written material on effective mentors, guidelines on
appropriate and inappropriate activities, a recruiting plan for potential
mentors, and an evaluation plan.
- Remember to alter position descriptions for volunteers to indicate
that mentors are assigned to entry-level volunteers.
Are You Losing Donors?
A study of nine US charities with lapsed donors provides
some insight into why people stop giving. Adrian Sargeant, a visiting
professor at Indiana University asked 1000 in a variety of nonprofit
programs lapsed donors in a variety of nonprofit programs to describe
why they quit giving. They had a checklist of reasons from which to
choose. Based on his findings he urged organizations to let donors dictate
the type of communication they receive from the organization and how
often. Below are the results of the study.
|1. Feeling that other causes
were more deserving
|2. No longer able to afford
|3. No memory of ever supporting
|4. Donor still supporting
charity by other means.
|5. Donor relocated.
|7. Charity's communication
|8. Charity did not remind
the donor to give again.
|9. Charity asked for an
inappropriate donation amount.
|10. Charity did not inform
donor how contribution was used.
For a free copy of the survey results
you may contact Mr. Sargeant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DAILY POINTS OF LIGHT AWARD FORMS
The Points of Light Foundation has forms available
to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points
of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that
demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering
and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the
goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for
The award is given five days a week, excluding
holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at
By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals
can be connected to their local volunteer center. This is a national
interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected
to people who can help them volunteer.
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.