HOW TO: Keep volunteers engaged
BY SANNA HORN, BERÄTTARMINISTERIET, STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN
Empower the volunteers to grow in their role through in-depth courses and seminars. Arrange courses that train the volunteers in areas relevant to the work in the writing centers, for example: methods and pedagogical skills, child safety, or storytelling. By strengthening the volunteers’ own knowledge, you ensure quality throughout all activities while at the same time deepening the volunteers’ relationship to the organization.
Create focus groups for your volunteers where you regularly meet up a couple of times per semester. Aspects regarding the role as volunteer can be discussed and developed during these meetings. For example, volunteers can receive a task to develop ideas and methods for engaging and recruiting more members of the community in the organization.
Develop more profound and in-depth communication material about your organization to share with your volunteers. For example, put your organization’s work in a wider context by connecting what you do to a wider analysis of society and recent developments in your community. By doing so, you put the volunteers’ contribution in a wider context, too, and strengthen their sense of contributing to something bigger than themselves.