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Great Ways To Build A Volunteer Community In Your Organization

Posted By Kasandra James, Subscriptions Coordinator, July 7, 2016
Updated: July 6, 2016
 Group of youth volunteers

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes 

Building volunteer communities are vital to encourage ongoing engagement and social connections for all volunteers, including (and maybe especially) the ones you don’t see that often!

Participants at the June 2016 Subscriber Circle came up with some great ideas for different kinds of communities you can create.



Volunteer communities outside shift hours


Volunteer communities during shift hours

At the Circle, we discussed the challenges of building community with occasional, short-term and event volunteers. Participants talked about the benefits of letting these volunteers know you’re thinking of them and that you’re still around. It’s important to make sure these volunteers – and all volunteers – feel like a part of the team.

Before the end of the session, participants came up with some great tips to build community for your volunteers:

  • Find out volunteer motivations to encourage connections and community over shared goals.

  • Share long-time volunteer experiences and stories, including quotes from volunteers and photos of volunteer activity.

  • Use icebreakers and social games to help volunteers communicate and get to know each other.

  • Recruit and engage community animators to bring online communities to life.

  • Build excitement about your organization, increasing prestige and interest in what you do, by communicating impact.


Use these ideas to start you on your journey to building volunteer community. Don’t miss any of our next Subscriber Circles – click here to see what’s coming soon!

As Volunteer Toronto’s Subscriptions Coordinator, Kasandra James is the first point of contact for non-profits looking for support. She facilitates monthly Subscriber Circles - discussion groups for managers and coordinators of volunteers, contributes to our Sector Space newsletter and social media communications, and makes sure our subscriptions package continues to help non-profit organizations build capacity through volunteer involvement. 


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