Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Professional Development For Volunteers

While nonprofit volunteers will often move on to different opportunities once their work is done, that doesn't mean you don't have an obligation to help them out with their future careers.

Helping your volunteers with their professional development is a good way to show how much you appreciate their work.  And, as John L. Lipp writes in "The Idiot's Guide to Recruiting and Managing Volunteers," it's also a great strategy to keep them motivated.  While this training will help volunteers develop career skills for later in their life, it can also lead to promotions within the organization.

In order to keep things fresh, Lipp recommends bringing in special guest speakers to speak on specific topics.  You may also want to schedule webinars that your volunteers can attend.  Either of these choices provide a level of interaction that will enable your volunteer workers to better enhance their skills.

So how often should you offer these professional development courses?  While Lipp acknowledges there is ongoing debate on how much is necessary, most agree that some follow-up training should be offered at least once a year. 

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Additionally the volunteer experience itself can be a great professional development opportunity. Encourage volunteers to go outside their normal strengths to try something new and build their familiarity in an area they are less experienced. Public speaking, record keeping, and fundraising are just a few of the areas your volunteers could be honing new skills.