4 Ways to Keep Volunteers Motivated and Focused

Four people in blue volunteer tshirts taking selfie, haralambos bobby geroulanos on keeping employees motivated and happy


Many people want to be involved in philanthropy in some capacity, which often results in people volunteering for one of the many charities out there. While having so many charities makes a major difference for many prominent issues throughout the world, it also places these nonprofits in a position of competition for resources, such as volunteers and funds. For a nonprofit to succeed, they need to find and keep engaged volunteers who are passionate about the philanthropy’s cause. Here are some tips for keeping your volunteers motivated and focused and making sure they keep offering their time to your charity.

Appreciate them

One of the best things you can do to motivate your volunteers is to let them know they’re appreciated. Keep track of successes volunteers achieve and acknowledge it when you see a volunteer do a good job. Consider giving your volunteers gift cards or some other small item to show your appreciation. When volunteers feel valued by an organization, they’ll want to keep giving their time.


If you want to keep volunteers, it’s vitally important that you communicate with them. Let your volunteers know you’re open to feedback and they should ask any questions they have. Make sure your volunteers know they can bring concerns to you and discuss issues they have. You want to be available for them to voice concerns or discuss innovative ideas for the philanthropy. It’s also important to clearly communicate the goals of your organization and show your volunteers how they fit into those goals and how they can help make them a reality. When volunteers feel that they’re important and helping achieve a larger goal, they’ll be motivated and want to stay with the organization.

Look out for exhaustion

Exhaustion is particularly common at philanthropies, which often require long hours and a lot of work for employees and volunteers to complete on a minimal budget. Volunteers can feel inclined to burnout, especially if they’re putting in time at the nonprofit on top of a regular job or school. Talk to your volunteers about burnout and what to do if they start feeling exhausted. Also, keep an eye out for symptoms yourself, so you can intervene if volunteers seem close to exhaustion. It’s important to take care of yourself and avoid exhaustion as well so you can continue functioning at your best.

Create a community

Finally, develop a community at your philanthropy. Show your volunteers how they’re important to the overall success of the organization and what difference their time is making to the cause you’re working for. Take time to actually get to know your volunteers and learn why they’re passionate about the cause your organization is focusing on. Connect with volunteers and create a strong and supportive community.