How to Reduce Volunteer No-Shows

Uncategorized / Wednesday, September 18th, 2013


Sometimes volunteers don’t show up for their shifts.  It happens, right?  Well, yes, but it doesn’t have to.  We can help.

Here are some stress-saving tips to reduce no-shows:

Get in contact with them after a no-show.  Don’t yell at them or make them feel uncomfortable; simply ask them why they didn’t show up.  This won’t fix the first no-show, but it will reduce future no-shows.

Train them.   If they are properly trained and know what they are doing, they’ll be more inclined to come back.

Don’t intimidate them.  If volunteers are intimidated by you, they will definitely be scared to let you know they can’t make a shift.

Don’t guilt-trip volunteers to sign up.  If volunteers feel guilted into a position, they probably don’t actually want to do it, which can lead to them just not showing up.

Treat them well.  The nicer you are toward them, the more they’ll want to volunteer for your organization.

Show the importance of their job.   Connect the volunteer shift to something important to them. For example, if your volunteer’s duty is to type your organizations monthly newsletter and he or she personally receives the newsletter, he/she will understand theimportance of the task.

Use volunteer software.  If it’s easy for a volunteer to click “cancel,” online they will.  If they have to call someone to cancel, they are less likely to do so.

Send email/text reminders.  Some volunteers really do just forget.  Send a quick email or text to remind them.  This is another reason why volunteer software is handy.

If you cannot make it to an event, please make sure you let someone know.  Try to do it as far in advance as possible so the nonprofit can fill your position.  If you’re super nice, you’ll even find someone to do it for you.