March 17, 2011
In promoting the value of urban forests, successfully cultivating repeat volunteers can become your most effective strategy for spreading the word, facilitating projects, and building broader support for your mission. Consistently retaining volunteers requires an investment of time, training, and other resources to sustain the overall quality of your relationship. Retaining volunteers develops a corps of supporters who may become your future project leaders, donors, political advocates, and best ambassadors for the message that trees matter.
Repeat Volunteers Resource List
Greg Tudor, Development Manager, Friends of Trees (Portland, OR)
Volunteers have always been a central part of Friends of Trees, which was established to inspire community stewardship of Portland’s urban forest by bringing people in the together to plant, care for, and learn about city trees. Friends of Trees’ five-year Seed the Future campaign was successful in attracting 19,000 volunteers to plant 157,046 trees. Programs offered volunteer opportunities at differing skill and time-commitment levels, ranging from neighborhood coordinator to crew leader to fundraiser.
Greg Levine, Program Director, Trees Atlanta (Atlanta, GA)
Trees Atlanta has discovered that most people volunteer for one of the following reasons: environmental concerns, desire to beautify the neighborhood, social reasons, or desire to get a good workout. Keeping this in mind, Trees Atlanta has built an vast database of volunteers and a structure for supporting and developing their best volunteers. Many Trees Atlanta volunteers have become close social friends and use an e-mail list operated by Trees Atlanta to exchange information on social activities and opportunities.
Webcast attendees will learn about:
* Strategies for rewarding and encouraging repeat participation
* Building a volunteer growth structure
* Identifying high-potential volunteers
* Training programs to develop volunteer leaders
About the Webcast Series
The Webcast Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10–15 minutes, followed by 10–15 minutes of questions and answers.
CEU Approved: 1 Hour
CFE Category 2 Approved: 1 Hour