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Volunteer Retention and Feelings of Connection

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Retaining volunteers is both an indicator of and a key to success in volunteer management. When volunteers keep coming back, it is a sign that the program is being managed in a reasonable way. The return of trained and seasoned volunteers gives the volunteer program manager more time to be creative and effective in carrying out the mission.

At its simplest level, volunteer retention is simply a matter of making volunteers feel good about their assignment and themselves. If the experience is satisfying and rewarding, the volunteers will continue to want to participate. This is even more likely to be true if the assigned task boosts the volunteer's self esteem. When this experience pervades the volunteer program, a positive, enthusiastic climate is created which, in turn, encourages people to continue to volunteer.
This article discusses seven things that "disconnect" volunteers and offers strategies for fostering a positive sense of connection instead.