There are two things non-profit board members should do to keep good staff and entice more volunteers and neither cost a penny. The number one complaint from volunteers (even paid staff) of a charity or business nonprofit is that they don’t feel appreciated. Say thanks, for starters.

“Thank you so much.” “We really appreciate your time for us.” So simple. So rare. Just because a volunteer or donor is dedicated to the same cause you are doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be given thanks frequently. After all, happy volunteers bring in their friends. And you need their friends.

Another area nonprofit boards tend to overlook is setting expectations for both staff and volunteers – in writing. Sound too businesslike? You bet. Your charity is a business with all the benefits and risks of a business. Protect your organization with easy to understand and lawful expectations of those who toil for you.

Nonprofit employers should review their employee job descriptions and create handbooks for staff and for volunteers. A good association management firm can guide you. Be specific about your expectations of committee members. Keep the hurt feelings and resentment from forming while keeping peak enthusiasm for the good work you do for those you serve.

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