Non Profits

NonProfit Briefs for 10-15-17

The Volunteer

The most valuable asset a nonprofit organization has is the volunteer.  The search, for and selection of, starts with recruitment. Recruitment is only the beginning.  The organizations’ greatest challenge is the mission yet, it must also include finding and retaining productive volunteers.

Volunteer Recruitment

Before an invitation to join the organization the volunteer recruiter should understand the candidates’ motivation.  Asking why they want to volunteer is crucial.  Recently retired people often want to share their expertise. Many settle into a new home after leaving full time employment and discover they still need a work related challenge.

Retired Small Business Owners

Retired businesses owners, after many years of long hours and daily challenges need activity and stimulation, but only on a part time basis. Others want to do something that is productive of positive results.  Some realize they have skill sets that can be utilized by the organization.  Small business owners have the personal experience of ownership.  They usually have experience using a financial advisor, an accountant, an attorney, sales people, marketing experts  and bankers.  Their backgrounds can have value both for the start up or the expansion of an existing business.

Corporate Retirees

Retired corporate executives bring management skill sets into a volunteer organization. This proficiency can enhance the management of committee work and service/project efforts.  Corporate learned disciplines augment operational outcomes.  Corporate people are trained in team work.

 The People Person

Volunteers with people skills often find rewards listening to clients and finding solutions.  Active listening is a valuable communication skill.  Mentoring efforts can be greatly improved by active listening.  This ability also produces long term client success and also   builds the team effort.

 Personal Growth and Skill Development

Volunteers who seek personal growth and skill development can add to the organizational effectiveness and new energy.  A volunteer with a desire to develop speaking skills can be used to promote the organization at group events, speaking at dinner meetings, trade shows and venues where larger audiences are present.

Volunteers with IT skills can teach other volunteers and clients to improve their start up business.  Non profits have discovered new volunteers often desire to do something different in their role as volunteer.  It’s important to move the volunteer around with different organization assignments to keep them motivated and interested.  This protects against boredom and burn-out of the volunteer who needs continued challenges.

Retaining the Volunteers

Non profit leadership must demonstrate professionalism to the new volunteer. Managing the volunteer’s perception of efficient use of time is important meeting management protocol.  No meeting should be called without sufficient notice.  Every meeting should have an agenda.  It’s a map to follow which insures each item is covered and properly discussed so decisions can be made going forward.

A simple version of Roberts Rules of Order keeps a meeting on track. There always should be a set of minutes recorded for reference and follow-up.  All financial decisions, of a material nature, should be recorded by motions and  voting.  Minutes provide a record which indicates what was accomplished.   Exercising good meeting management habits demonstrates that the volunteer’s time is spent well.

A free flowing, poorly controlled meeting with no map to follow or history of decisions and discussions consumes time is unproductive   This is one of the biggest reasons volunteers leave their non profit.  Retaining productive volunteers allows mission to success.


Dr Herzog is the Founder/Executive Director of the NonProfitResourceCenter in Citrus County. 

He can be reached at 847-899-9000   Email:

 Visit the  Website:  The NonProfitResourceCenter.Com

















Dr. Frederick J. Herzog, PhD
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