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Volunteer Management Tips for Nonprofits

People packing plastic cartons full of food and clothing.

Summary: Nonprofits rely on volunteers to support their mission and further their cause. The cashflow in a nonprofit primarily funnels back to their cause, with a small bit leftover to fund their operations and “keep the lights on”. With little money leftover to hire a large staff and purchase expensive resources, volunteers are a critical component to the success of an NGO. 



Volunteer Paperwork

When it comes to good volunteer management, setting yourself up for success from the beginning is key. Have the following paperwork on hand:

  • Volunteer contracts (or volunteer agreements) keep your nonprofit safe and exempt from any issues, arguments, or misunderstandings. 
  • Volunteer rules can vary by assignment, but help with onboarding, training, and alleviating some responsibility from your full-time staff. 
  • Volunteer handbooks help your nonprofit organize risk and help your volunteers familiarize themselves with the mission of your organization. 

Onboarding and Training Processes

Let’s face it — you face the daily battle of not enough time and limited resources. Each volunteer is a gift to the organization and creating a smooth onboarding/training process helps them feel empowered and takes some of the work off your full-time team.

Leveraging a tool like ClickUp can automate these processes (and there’s a free version for you and your volunteers). 


Efficient Volunteer Communication 

Ensuring your volunteers feel they belong and are connected to your vision boils down to a consistent cadence of communication. Whether you develop a volunteer newsletter, organize a regular volunteer meeting, or do a combination of the two — find an avenue to keep them up-to-date.

Key volunteer communications include:

  • Sharing stories from the staff or the cause your nonprofit supports
  • Interviewing volunteers to hear their unique stories and why they felt called to support your NGO
  • Consolidating upcoming events and volunteering opportunities into a digital communication or printed handout
  • Inviting them to larger staff gatherings and events as a way to say, “thank you!”
  • Finding creative ways to educate volunteers on the mission of your nonprofit

Good communication is also a key technique for keeping volunteers engaged. Regularly ask for their feedback through the form of surveys, casual “water cooler” conversations, and facilitate opportunities for volunteers to bond with each other.


Volunteer Appreciation Gifts

Finally, remind your volunteers you appreciate them — and you can do this without breaking the bank. Whether it’s a handwritten thank you note, a coffee mug personalized to the organization, swag from an event they helped with, or t-shirts reflecting the organization’s mission.

Prepare these gifts following any larger volunteer assignments, such as events. Or distribute them at Christmastime, on volunter birthdays, or even volunteer anniversaries.


Without our volunteers, many nonprofits would not be able to sustain ongoing programs or pull off these large events requiring many hands. They save nonprofits significant amounts of money by donating their time.

Tuck Consulting Group specializes in helping nonprofits further their mission by increasing operational efficiencies through our project management expertise. If your organization is under $500K per year in annual budget, we would love to have you apply for our pro bono services, where we can help you get ClickUp set up and maybe even run a few of your projects for free.



Alex Tuck

Alex Tuck

Founder & Managing Principal

Alex Tuck is the founder and managing principal of Tuck Consulting Group, a firm that specializes in project management consulting for small businesses. After several tenures at large and regional management consulting firms, Alex set out to create a firm that was focused on better client outcomes through diverse teams with less focus on profit realization rates. Through the pandemic, the firm has experienced 15x two-year growth, landing it at #12 on the 2022 Inc. Northeast Regional list and the Forbes Next 1000 list.

In addition to Tuck, Alex has served as a nonprofit board member for several organizations, including a microlending nonprofit he co-founded that operates in Central America. Alex runs his remote-first firm from a farm in Vermont where he lives with his wife and four children. Feel free to reach out to book some time with him.

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