Engaging volunteers sounds like a no-brainer. Someone wants to work – for free – at your organization.

But nonprofits are finding that the changing nature of work, volunteer demographics and nonprofit competition are making it difficult for them to run a successful volunteer program.

There are an estimated 1.5 million nonprofits in the US but less than a quarter of those have a budget of more than $100,000 a year.

Only a fraction of those use volunteers; and only some of those have a working policy or handbook.

A 2009 study called the Stanford Social Review found the top reasons volunteers left an organization:

1. Not matching volunteer skills with assignments.
2. Failing to recognize volunteer contributions.
3. Not measuring the value of volunteers.
4. Failing to train or invest in volunteers and staff.
5. Failing to provide strong leadership.

For detailed information and tips, see the volunteer engagement page.