Recurring Volunteers (in honor of Groundhog Day)

Recurring Volunteers (in honor of Groundhog Day)

Volunteer (again!): How Recurring Volunteers Boosts Nonprofits (in honor of Groundhog Day)

We see many benefits of volunteers returning to the same organization. Nonprofits can keep training costs down, foster deeper relationships, and serve their communities more effectively. In honor of Groundhog Day, we explore how recurring volunteers can benefit nonprofit organizations and the community.

Recurring Volunteerism for Individuals

  • Set realistic expectations

Be honest with yourself and evaluate how much time you can feasibly spend volunteering, then commit to an organization that matches your abilities. Activate Good’s database of volunteer opportunities makes it easy to sort by date, skill, and interest!

Here’s a cool article that helps you assess the type of commitment certain volunteer opportunities require: We Ranked Volunteer Efforts by Their Time Commitment So That You Can Find a Good Fit

Discovering a volunteer opportunity that matches not only your passion, but your desired level of commitment, means you’re more likely to stick with it over time.Volunteering creates happiness

  • Use the buddy system!

Get a friend or family member to sign up with you. Just like working out, it’s harder to cancel when someone you know is counting on you!

  • Donate things other than your time

If you cannot donate your time, donate your resources: money, items, or messaging. Spead the word about your favorite causes on social media. Chris Hendricks tells a story about a time when he used social media to share Activate Good’s Operation Access campaign. “I was concerned about how well we could contribute being stuck at home…turns out just because we’re stuck at home doesn’t mean we can’t get things moving with a simple click of a button”. One of his friends saw his Facebook post and not only signed up to volunteer but also donated to the organization.

Chris Hendricks

  • Doing good feels good

Remember that doing good creates a sense of well-being and happiness. Sometimes the most difficult part is signing up and showing up! On average, people spend an average of 52 hours per year volunteering their time.

This February, Activate Good is encouraging our community to track 2,021 moments of good throughout the year. 2021 moments of good would equate to about 34 hours. Totally doable in a year (a few hours per month)! 

  • Consistency is KEY

The LGBT Center’s Kori Hennessey, Director of Education and Programs points out that “consistency in volunteering is necessary for many organizations. Although there are always special projects that do not require long term commitments, most nonprofits need volunteers that stick around for more than one or two days.”

Think about it like friendships. Who knows you better: someone that met you once or twice or someone that you see fairly often? The more a person volunteers with an organization, the more they’ll get to know said organization, the staff, and the programs. The more a volunteer gets to know an organization, the better that person will be at providing resources, executing its mission and sustaining its programs. 

Hennessey adds, “familiar faces help program participants feel more comfortable and in turn allows a space that people will want to come back to. Many organizations strive to foster a sense of community, safety, comfort and inclusion. Repeat volunteers make this happen.

How to Attract Repeat Volunteers

Nonprofits can attract more recurring volunteers by applying a few rules to their recruitment efforts

  • Flexibility and Convenience

Allow volunteers to sign up online and make signing up easy! With Activate Good, that process is simple and straightforward. A variety of options – something for everyone! – is available at www.activategood.org/opportunity.

  • Thanking recurring volunteers is important!

Make sure you have protocols in place to show your appreciation. Volunteers

  • Create community

Many people volunteer to feel a sense of camaraderie. Make sure you allow volunteers to Network and chat, and encourage communication amongst your volunteers! Many individuals find new friendships while volunteering; help your volunteers feel comfortable connecting with others during their time of service

For more information about recurring volunteers and more check out:

Take Action

Take Action

Check out hundreds of volunteer opportunities with causes around the Triangle area and volunteer to make an impact.

About the Author

Related Stories