What Motivates You? New Study Looks at Volunteer Retention Trends

I’m sure it won’t surprise you to hear that at FuzeUs we think about volunteers a lot. And by a lot I mean All. Of. The. Time.

As we build out our platform we’re constantly asking ourselves things like: Why do you volunteer? What causes do you care about? What motivates you to sign up the first time? And what makes you come back time and again?

Why do we ask those questions? Because we want to build a platform that deepens connections between nonprofits and the people that support them. And that means understanding what information you as a volunteer need at your fingertips in order to feel like a better, long-lasting connecting is being made.

Since we spend hours talking and thinking about this topic we’ve managed to come up with plenty of our own theories, so it’s always good to validate those theories against independent market research to make sure we’re on track and not just assuming we’ve got it all figured out.“That’s why we were so excited to see volunteer research released from Janna Finch and Software Advice, a company that reviews, compares, and researches volunteer management software solutions.” In it Finch looks at why volunteering is at a 10-year low – and what we can do to change it.

The biggest takeaway that caught my eye?

Finch found that 24% of volunteers responding to a survey said that demonstrating proof of impact was a motivating factor in convincing them to be a return volunteer. As we know though, demonstrating that proof is really difficult for nonprofits to do with the tools available today. And that’s why we’re building FuzeUs. Volunteers will be able to go into the FuzeUs app and immediately see the real, tangible value their volunteer time provides to the nonprofits while at the same time connecting in real time with the people they’re helping through their volunteerism.

incentives-top-level

Which turns out to be a good thing, because when Software Advice drilled down and asked what kind of proof of impact people were looking for, the top 2 responses were receiving testimonials from beneficiaries and being provided with data that showed impact. And that makes sense, because at the end of the day doesn’t most motivation come down to wanting to make a human connection while making an impact somewhere? We think so (but then again as I mentioned above, we think a lot of things).

feedback-incentives

Finch found other compelling things nonprofits can do to help encourage repeat volunteerism, including offering convenient scheduling, professional development and networking events. We’re firm believers in helping nonprofits better think about all of those things too. We also know that with the greater transparency and connectedness that applications like FuzeUs are bringing to the volunteer management space, everyone in the ecosystem – volunteers and nonprofits alike – will find more efficient ways to connect and organically come together to offer what each party is looking for. And that will lead to volunteers being happier with their experiences (thus returning in greater numbers), and nonprofits getting the help they need where they need it.

Thanks to Software Advice for the graphics. Check out the full survey recap below:

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