How to Turn Volunteers into Supporters: Tips for Volunteer Orientation and Training


A successful event is difficult to accomplish alone. In every fundraiser, you need a team of people who support your cause and are willing to help in any aspect of the event. Volunteer orientation and training is one of the most critical aspects of the volunteer management process. Volunteer orientation and training can make the difference between a successful event and a disastrous one. During orientation, which all volunteers should attend, volunteers learn about the organization as well as the event. And during training, there is an in-depth explanation about the volunteer roles for the event. Both are excellent methods to increase supporters and their engagement.  



The purpose of volunteer orientation is to have people briefly learn about the organization, the event, and the volunteer positions. When you present the organization, you are able to describe your purpose, goals, and who you serve. At your orientation, you are given an opportunity to gain more supporters by giving a small presentation about your organization. The presentation provides an opportunity to convert your volunteers into future ambassadors and potential donors. During the orientation, you can describe your organization’s goals and how the volunteers can help you fulfill them. Then you can describe the open positions that are available for your event and they can see which positions would be a good fit for them. Whether it’s because they learn about your cause or because they learn of a new opportunity they can help with, it will increase your reach and awareness of your organization.  



Although volunteer orientation is a great way to spread your message to your volunteers, volunteer training is an even better way to gain more supporters. Having people who can share your message or goal with others is crucial to your event. If the purpose of your event is to spread awareness about your cause, you can train your volunteers and prepare them for questions about your cause, or what to do in case they need assistance in providing answers to your donors. Some volunteers may choose to participate in your events for their own personal reasons without any knowledge about your cause, so a training session would not only help them in understanding your cause, but it could also result in gaining a new supporter. Your orientation leads the volunteer to supporting you, but the training session teaches them the information they need to gain supporters during your event.

Once you have a volunteer, it is important to acknowledge and value them. High school and college student volunteers may be there in part to gain community service or volunteer hours. This may also be true of volunteers who work for progressive or large companies. A simple volunteer certificate acknowledging the volunteer’s time and commitment can enrich their overall volunteer experience and meet the criteria for any volunteer program at their school or business. 

An orientation and training session are two excellent methods to spread your message to volunteers and convert them into passionate supporters, which, in turn, will not only ignite the fire but also provide them tools necessary to deliver your message and ultimately grow your outreach and presence in the community.

What ways are you engaging your volunteers to become future supporters?