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The Ten Things You’ve Gotta do to Get and Keep Rockstar Volunteers

Ever wish you could have an easy guide for running a sustainable volunteer program? Learn tips to end volunteer attrition and focus on what works for recruiting and retaining the best volunteers.

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Articles written by Josh Schukman

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Josh is the founder of Social Change Nation, whose mission and passion is to provide cause based leaders with the best possible resources for growing their movements. He writes on all things volunteer, corporate social responsibility, and other purposeful musings. In his spare time, he loves travelling, reading, hanging with friends, and is a wannabe triathlete.

Our favorite VolunteerMark content from this year!

Wow! 2014 was a great year for VolunteerMark. We had some amazing contributions on our blog from guest writers, launched one of the few podcasts dedicated to non-profit leadership, and even ventured into video production at the end of the year! Who would've thought a year could bring so much. Join as we celebrate the best blogposts, podcasts, and videos in this year end review!

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Everything you need to know about recruiting paid volunteers

More and more companies are paying their employees to volunteer, but 70% of these hours go unused. This article is the only gameplan you'll ever need to flip that on its head and get all kinds of paid volunteers contributing to your non-profit.

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How we won an award for doing what is right.

We recently won a Mobiley award, which is an award for entrepreneurs who inspire and make a difference through mobile innovation. The process taught us a lot about these sorts of crown campaigns online, and we think these lessons could be of great help as we try to get people to volunteer, 'like' us on Facebook, or comment on our webpages.

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Are you hiding behind your status?

We non-profits benefit greatly from our legal status, but we also need to be open to other legal structures that may not be non-profit, yet nonetheless allow for an awesome community impact. Today, we explore that landscape...

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We wanna make you a movie!! But we need your help...

That's right folks! We're making a movie and it's all about you - we want to help you find a solution to your largest organizational challenge for 2015! But - we can't do that until we know what that is!! Please please please comment here, or on facebook, or on twitter, and let us know how we can best help you with an awesomely amazing movie to launch 2015 in fine style!

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How to avoid the non-profit 'halo effect'

For too long we non-profits have benefited from undue credit for our legal status while for profits face undue criticism for theirs - join the conversation today as we discover that it's much more effective to focus on impact than legal structure.

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How to make the most of your holiday volunteers!

All too often we get a massive influx of volunteers and givers during the holiday season only to see them whisked away by the dawn of the new year... but this is unhealthy! It's unhealthy for us, for the volunteer, and for our community. Read on for some tools that'll help you hang on to your seasonal volunteers.

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The power of a restorative retreat

When you vacation, do you take time to restore yourself and your mission? Or do you find yourself wanting another vacation just as soon as you get back from each one? Check out this article to discover how you can build purpose into your next vacation - no matter how you've viewed them in the past.

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5 Clutch strategies for recruiting AmeriCorps alums as volunteers

AmeriCorps alums are an incredible resource as you grow your volunteer program. They are experienced volunteers, dedicated change agents, and creative problem solvers. You can and should be recruiting them as volunteers - here's how...

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Why you should banish excel from your life...(and other security tips)

Excel is a symptom of a much larger problem at our non-profits: our general disregard for cyber security. Basically, this means we are violating our sacred trust with volunteers, donors, and our community that says we will protect the information they give us. Don't want to become another story of an organization that has had information stolen from it? Then you need to read on...

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Five ways to 'make the ask'

It has happened to us all... we get that great prospective volunteer or potential donor, yet we get nervous and afraid when it comes time to 'make the ask'. Join us today for a candid discussion of 'fear of making the ask' and some strategies for overcoming it.

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Giving should hurt.

Society is overly focused on giving that is easy for the giver - volunteers give 'spare time' and supporters donate 'spare cash'. But what if we started encouraging our communities to give in ways that cause them to sacrifice in other areas of life? That's what we at VolunteerMark are doing with our challenge to stop Ebola - and here's why...

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Forget ice buckets - let's stop Ebola.

Ice buckets were great on the surface, but its time we started a campaign that requires sacrificial giving on the part of donors and volunteers. That's why we at Volunteermark are calling on our community to STOP EBOLA. Read on to find out what we're doing...

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Do you fear or embrace disruptive change at your nonprofit?

Technological change is disruptive, and it can usher in a new era of nonprofit engagement and impact. This will only happen, however, to the extent that we in the nonprofit space learn to embrace change and accept it as the new normal. Today, I discuss a some of the most major technological shifts and how we can turn them into a force for good in our nonprofits.

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Forget relativism – social justice is about TRUTH.

Join us today as we make some bold, but very important statements about social justice work. The epidemic of relativism threatens the very core of nonprofit service, but it can be combatted. Read on for the set of mantras that we use at Volunteermark to hold our work to the truth.

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We're nearing first place in The Mobileys, and we need your vote!

The Mobileys honor entrepreneurs who inspire and make a difference through mobile innovation - we're nearing first place for an award, which would mean $10k for us to continue helping volunteers! But, we can't do it without you! Read more below, and please vote for us at http://themobileys.com/!

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The top resources for telling beautiful stories at your non-profit

You've got to tell your story to win over rockstar volunteers. This post is your toolbox for resources you'll need to do that - dig into it, and equip yourself to share the beautiful stories of the communities you serve.

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It's proven: non-profits thrive when they measure volunteer impact

Check out this newly released research report that proves it's critical for us to measure volunteer impact - it also proves that measurement of volunteer impact is vital for increasing donations & ensuring that your programs are effective.

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The Five Steps to Telling a Beautiful Story

Storytelling is a critical part of what we do as volunteer coordinators. Join the conversation today as we share five key steps you'll need to take if you hope to tell beautiful stories as you recruit volunteers.

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What if everyone had one cause they dedicated themselves to?

Now that we've spent the last few weeks chatting about ways to recruit long-term volunteers, let's talk about the 'why'. Why is this important? Why should we prioritize long-term over short-term volunteers (in most cases)? How can this show volunteers how they can change the world? Read more to find out!

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A short guide to businesses who are paying volunteers

We've talked about ways you can recruit paid volunteers - today, let's get specific and explore the types of businesses you want to recruit at in order to find paid volunteers.

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How to recruit paid volunteers

Businesses are paying their employees to volunteer, and this trend is growing. Read on to see how you can take advantage of this to recruit dedicated volunteer into your cause by connecting with businesses offering this benefit.

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Volunteering as part of everyday life...

What systems do you have in place for getting to know your volunteers? How do you tailor volunteer opportunities to match the professional background of your volunteers? How can we, as coordinators, commit ourselves to making volunteering a part of everyday life for our communities? Join us this week as we seek to answer these questions and find ways that we can tailor our volunteer opportunities to each unique volunteer.

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VolunteerMark podcast goes live today!

Our podcast is live today! Check out this post for info on how to get involved, and more importantly, how to listen in on the 'reg'!!!

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We need to change the quality of our conversations

Are you tired of superficial dialogue about giving and charity? Then read this post for ways you can (and must) get meaningfully involved in conversations about serving others.

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An alternative to ice bucketers and slacktivists

Building on Monday's conversation that questioned the ice-bucket challenge, today we talk why 100 dedicated volunteers are better than 10,000 slacktivists. Read on for a chat about this and several strategies you can use today to recruit genuine activists into your cause.

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Do ice buckets really make a difference?

Can ice bucketers really make a difference? Join the conversation this week as we question the notion that a viral social media campaign can lead to genuine engagement with a cause. We'll consider the challenge, and evidence that your non-profit may be able to find much more effective tools.

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Could your non-profit generate revenue? (5 questions to ask yourself)

Building on the discussion of revenue generating non-profits from Monday, this article talks about five questions you should ask yourself when considering if your non-profit could fundraise via revenue generation. This five step process will take you a long way in the direction of seeing if this is a fit for you!

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Could your non-profit generate revenue?

In the aftermath of the recession - many non-profits are seeking revenue streams that they own. Could this be possible for you? The answer may surprise you...tune in for three powerful stories of non-profits who refused to depend solely on outside funding and charted their own destinies.

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The tool that every volunteer coordinator needs

How often has this happened to you - you interview a prospective volunteer, love their background, love what they offer, and love what they could bring to your movement, but you never hear from them beyond the initial interview? If this has happened to you (and I’m sure it has :) click into this article for a tool that you must have to nip ‘volunteer-fade’ in the bud.

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Will work for purpose

So you’re leading an organization whose lifeblood is volunteers – but how do you go about recruiting and retaining individuals who are just as sold out on your mission as you? The truth is – those of us in cause based work have a tremendous advantage: our work has purpose, and most people don’t feel they have purpose at their day jobs.

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Five keys to successful nonprofit, for-profit partnerships

“Giving back is about leveraging your businesses expertise and talents in a way that fits you and a nonprofit perfectly.”

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