Volunteer Onboarding

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Volunteers are the life blood of Main Street programs. They do more than make up the difference when money is tight – they help your program connect to the community and increase its visibility. The number of volunteers you have depends on your recruitment efforts and the size of your community. In 2013, Arkansas Main Street programs reported more than 23,224 volunteer hours. If we were to quantify this amount, that would be approximately $439,630. On average, our Main Street programs have 40 to 60 active volunteers working on revitalization planning and implementation.

It is necessary that your program create procedures for keeping volunteers productive and happy. One way is to develop a strong onboarding system. Onboarding is a critical first step when it comes to retaining good volunteers.

Volunteer management expert and author of Volunteer Manager First 90 Days Tobi Johnson suggests that “a well-designed volunteer onboarding process helps volunteers both manage expectations and supports them as they negotiate uncertain and stressful waters.” She advises that if organizations want to “convert joiners to stayers” they need to implement strategies that involve:

  • Implementing Regular Rituals
  • Encouraging Relationships
  • Offering Formal Training
  • Demonstrating Return on Investment Early and Often

As your Main Street program’s organization committee or membership experience committee work to increase your volunteer retention rates, here are seven essential tips that expands on Johnson’s advice:

  • Be responsive (within 24 hours)
  • Simplify the process
  • Determine preferred communication method
  • Give frequent updates
  • Make sure the volunteer is the right fit
  • Value volunteers time
  • Show volunteers their impact

Recent Posts


Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council Elias Camp Morris Monroe County Courthouse free teacher resources Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission most endangered historic places Duck Hunting International-Style Architecture National Register of Historic Places Madison County Arkansas Evelyn Gill Walker House Pope County Courthouse National Historic Landmark Roe Arkansas Fayetteville Arkansas Tolbert Gill Arkansas Humanities Council Renaissance Revival Architecture Houston Methodist Episcopal Church South Downtown Revitalization Grants Clarendon Arkansas Arkansas Register of Historic Places Morrilton Arkansas North Little Rock Arkansas Helena Arkansas Main Street Siloam Springs White County Courthouse Louisiana Main Street program Kiblah School Free Cemetery Preservation Workshops Free Courthouse Poster historic Arkansas properties Poinsett County Arkansas Art Deco Architecture U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Bogg Springs Arkansas 13th Amendment Classroom Presentation steel window restoration workshop Arkansas Business History Gothic Revival architecture Doddridge Arkansas Polk County Arkansas cemetery preservation African American education Cemetery Preservation Library Parker-Hickman Farm Historic District Huntsville Commercial Historic District Bogg Springs Hotel Marked Tree Lock and Siphons Henry Koen Office Building Historic Preservation Alliance historic telephone booth Old U.S. Post Office and Customs House American Legion Freedom Park Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Forrest City Cemetery Mississippi County Arkansas downtown revitalization Real Estate Transfer Tax Folk Victorian Architecture Little Rock Fire Station No. 2 historic architecture Mississippi Main Street Association Arkansas Railroad History Burdette Plantation Arkansas History Lesson Plans Burdette Arkansas Wingmead Tudor Revival Architecture Saline County Arkansas Freedmen's Bureau Main Street Batesville Cumberland Presbyterian Church News Release Skillern House Stearns/Gehring Chapel Cemetery free history tours Carlisle Rock Island Railroad Depot Phillips County Arkansas Monsanto Chemical Corporation Little Rock Central High School New Century Club of Camden Main Street Texarkana Prairie County Arkansas Monroe County Arkansas Pulaski County Courthouse Newton County Arkansas Edgar Monsanto Queeny Walks Through History Montgomery County Courthouse St. Francis County Historical Society Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Museum Three States Lumber Company Paris Arkansas Naturalistic Architecture Russellville Arkansas Arkansas Preservation Awards Trail of Tears in Arkansas Main Street Ozark Delta Cultural Center Nevada County Arkansas Centennial Baptist Church Camden to Washington Road Civilian Conservation Corps Sunken Lands Central High School Neighborhood Historic District Pope County Arkansas Arkansas religious history Dionicio Rodriguez 19th Century Road Construction Montgomery County Arkansas Craftsman style architecture Flood Control Rosston Arkansas Abolition of Slavery "Let Freedom Ring" Travel Grants Sandwiching in History Conway County Library Houston Arkansas Dr. Ruth Hawkins U.S. Forest Service 13th Amendment free historic preservation workshop Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Huntsville Arkansas Mid-Century Modern Architecture slipcover removal grants Turner Restoration historic resort communities Barney Elias House National Register of Historic Ozark Farming Arkansas Design Network Rosenwald Schools Destination Downtown Conference Leake-Ingham Building Main Street Arkansas:Real Estate Transfer Tax Free Lesson Plan Let Freedom Ring Forrest City Arkansas Buffalo National River Booneville Arkansas Camden Arkansas Civil Works Administration Booneville Historical Preservation Society cemetery preservsation Main Street Dumas Historic County Courthouses County courthouse Restoration Grants Perry County Arkansas Benton Arkansas Historic Preservation Restoration Grants downtown economic development Miller County Pike County Courthouse Main Street Searcy Rustic Architecture Marked Tree Arkansas Ouachita County Arkansas Main Street Arkansas Arkansas History Arkansas Historic Preservation Pike County Arkansas Arkansas African American Civil War History Mississippi County Courthouse Osceola Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut Camden Public Library Erbie Arkansas