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


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