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How to motivate and inspire your volunteers

Motivation and inspiration may sound like the same thing to some, however, they are two very different things.

What’s the difference between motivation and inspiration?

That’s easy. Motivation gives people a reason to do something, inspiration is something that makes people want to do something. For example, going to work motivates me to get out of bed in the morning while coffee inspires me to get my work done.

Okay, that example might be a bit specific, but you get the idea. Let’s apply it to your volunteer program. Motivating your volunteers and inspiring them are two separate actions, giving you double to opportunities to connect with your volunteers.

Motivate your volunteers

There are a multitude of ways to motivate your volunteers. A few motivational methods to get you started include power, recognition, and rewards.

Motivating through recognition

volunteer motivation through recognition

Recognition can range from naming a “volunteer of the month” or calling out volunteer accomplishments in your newsletter. The easiest, and quickest, way to recognize your volunteers is through social media. Post pictures highlighting your events to share the impact your volunteer teams make in your community.

Tracking your volunteer impact

Teams use a variety of tools to help track their volunteers’ impact for projects. Sharing this impact to those who served the organization can be a game changer.

The VOMO platform makes it easy to track economic impact an see the most engaged volunteers in your organization. 

Learn more about VOMO’s reporting features >>

Next up, advancing to leadership roles

When a volunteer repeatedly serves with you, move them into a role where they can help other volunteers, like a team leader. Other possible roles to offer frequent volunteers to motivate their continued participation are orientation presenter, check-in monitor, or organization ambassador.

Rewards are also a great motivator

Yes, people volunteer because they want to help make a difference, but a little reward doesn’t hurt either. Gift cards and t-shirts are easy ways to show your appreciation for your volunteers. You can find out more about rewarding volunteers in this blog.

Learn how to introduce volunteer rewards into your program to gamify volunteer efforts.

Moving to volunteer inspiration

Inspiration works just as well as motivation to get volunteers involved in your projects. Enthusiasm, trust, and positivity can all be gateways to inspiring volunteers to join your cause.

If you love what you are doing, your volunteers will too. Enthusiasm is infectious and bringing that caliber of genuine excitement to your projects will pass on to your volunteers. When people are excited about making a difference, they will more than likely serve with your organization again in the future.

Trust is vital to building a thriving volunteer base. As an organization, you are collecting volunteer information such as allergens, ages, and (if they are donors) banking information. Keeping their information secure is a stepping stone to foster trust between your organization and your volunteers. Using tools like VOMO Forms securely keeps your volunteer information in one place.

Inspire your volunteers with the help of VOMO

Need some content you can share to an Instagram story, Facebook post or through a tweet? Check out our shareable inspiration collection of quotes and imagery.

Browse shareable inspiration content today >>

Projecting positivity to volunteers

Project positivity to engage new and lapsed volunteers. Sometimes people need to see the right thing to inspire them to make a difference. Sharing inspirational quotes may seem small, however, in our increasingly digital world, posting an inspiring quote to your social media pages can connect with a broad audience quickly.

Inspiration will get your volunteers in the door and your motivational tools will keep volunteers coming back to serve.

Inspiring and motivating volunteers through effective engagement

Our volunteer engagement platform is built to keep your momentum going with each volunteer. From easy messaging before, during and after the volunteer projects they’ve signed up for, to the rewards they can earn through VOMO Rewards for their time served across their community, we stand ready to help motivate your teams.

Learn more about VOMO's platform

Provide the information below and one of our volunteer engagement experts will reach out to learn more about your initiatives and goals for your program.