Like most organizations that utilize volunteers, the Animal Care League struggles with volunteer retention. We have a tremendous number of people come through our training classes to become volunteers, but only a small handful of them continue with their volunteer service for longer than a few months. While we are greatly appreciative of any time people can give us, we also want to have volunteer program where a majority of our volunteers stay with us for long periods of time.
We understand that life situations change which requires a person to stop their volunteering after a short time, however, we want to ensure we have set a good foundation here at the shelter which makes people feel appreciated and want to stay with us for as long as possible. There are many programs we would like to start, yet we can’t do so unless we are certain that we will have the ongoing volunteer help to keep the program running. We often have enough help at the onset of a new venture, but if/when the initial volunteers can no longer participate, we don’t always have enough people waiting in the wings to keep the program going. It becomes counterproductive to start and stop programs like this, so we are striving to increase the volunteer participation at our shelter.
We have already undertaken several steps to make volunteering a more rewarding and enjoyable experience here at the shelter, but I would like to know what ideas we haven’t thought of yet. Therefore, my basic question is ?#34; what drives you to volunteering and what can we do to create a situation where you want to stay with us until you are absolutely forced to leave?