Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Volunteer Incentives

    Posted 07-17-2023 12:37 PM

    Hi All,

    How do you keep your volunteers interested,  what incentives are you using/offering?

    One of things we've discussed largely at our meeting with coordinators is that the volunteers who work with rescues (no facilities) have a hard time staying committed or interested because they dont get much dog internations. With that, most of the aspects of their duties are remote - so its hard to keep them wanting to continue because most interactions with any teammates or staff etc are also remote. 

    Would love any feedback of whats worked for you . 


    Stella Plit
    Rescue City

  • 2.  RE: Volunteer Incentives

    Posted 07-17-2023 01:14 PM

    Hey Stella!

    GREAT question! We come across this with some of our remote/offsite volunteer roles and so hopefully some of these will help with your teams:

    • All trainings have a Zoom/Microsoft Teams/Web call Link. Any staff trainings we offer, such as we have an upcoming training on Enneagrams, our volunteers are also invited to participate in. They can participate in person or we always send out a Zoom link for them to log in from home. Even if the topic isn't related to their role, just by offering various trainings/meetings they can view/participate in, keeps them engaged. 
    • Host Virtual Happy Hours & play online free games with them! It's a great way to share a few updates of things happening at your organization, then open the floor for folks to share about what they're working on or why they joined your organization. 
      • There's a free game online called "Codenames" that you can setup and play with your volunteers. It's cool because you can either just play generically, or create codes around terms that are relevant to your organization. We've played where folks are divided into teams and it can be a lot of fun to get folks talking!
    • Create Mentors: For your offsite/remote volunteers that are tenured, ask if they'd like to have a mentee that they buddy up with to chat once a week or so to check in on how projects/assignments are going. It creates a bond with a fellow volunteer, takes workload of questions of a staff member that the mentor can answer, and develops tenured volunteers with more responsibility/buy-in. Not every tenured volunteer may want to be a mentor, but for those that do, it certainly adds to their overall experience!

    I hope this helps!

    Sarah Sukhram
    Vol. & Foster Coordinator
    Pasco County Animal Services
    Land O' Lakes, FL

  • 3.  RE: Volunteer Incentives

    Posted 07-17-2023 05:18 PM

    Love these ideas! I am going to pass this along to the volunteer coordinators!

    Jessica Quaresimo

  • 4.  RE: Volunteer Incentives

    Posted 07-18-2023 06:17 AM

    We offer monthly Volunteer meetings - often held at a local brewery that supports us - in their small meeting room.  Volunteers can get a beer if they want before discussions begin.  I talk about programs within the organization that they might want to learn more about, if we have a trainer there, she gives tips and tricks when walking dogs  (and handouts) and then we open it up for group discussion.  What are you enjoying?  What types of adoptable events do you thing could work and where could they be held?  Often, a volunteer will either offer insight for this question, or know somebody that I can then reach out to.  I try to make it inclusive and always ask them their opinions of the things that are working well and that they are enjoying as opposed to the things that they do not like so much!  It's working!!

    Carol Jessee
    Angels of Assisi