Volunteer Training? Let Me Count the Ways

“How do you train your volunteers?”

If you are like most, you typically have an answer like, “Once a month at volunteer leader meetings.”  OR  “Quarterly”  OR “Once at the beginning of the year” OR some other variation.

Actually, you are training your volunteers continuously.


It’s interesting that while we work in non-formal education, many of us automatically correlate an in-person formal teaching session with “training.”  However, stop just a moment and think about the opportunities we have to transfer learning to our volunteers beyond the in-person:

  •  Webinars
  • Newsletter articles
  • Blog posts (at least…that’s my hope)
  • Co-teaching/or leading with a volunteer
  • Videos
  • Club visits
  • Emails
  • Social media posts
  • Conversation over coffee
  • Podcasts
  • Conference calls

Couple this with the “rule of Seven” (people must hear something seven times before it sinks in), and it makes sense to think now about how you will use multiple strategies to address your 2-3 (no more please) big volunteer development goals for the year.

For example:  Want leaders to plan better club meetings?

  1.  In-person training on better club meetings.
  2. 8 week series of email blasts on tips for better club meetings.
  3. Co-lead a meeting with each of your organizational leaders.
  4. Share a video on how to have an effective club meeting (There are plenty out there, you need not make your own).
  5. Broadcast your 4-H County Council meeting as an example of a model meeting.
  6. Share in your newsletter a tool on assessing the effectiveness of 4-H club meetings.
  7. Once a month share on Social media a tool for more effective 4-H club meetings.

You are probably already doing all these things! But take a second now, before the rush of the new year to think about:

  1.  2-3 volunteer development goals for the coming year.
  2. 7 ways (for each) to reinforce these messages.


This entry was posted in Organizational Strategies, Uncategorized, Volunteer Development and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Volunteer Training? Let Me Count the Ways

  1. Irvine,Kelsey M says:

    This is fantastic information!

    Kelsey Irvine Extension Agent I/ 4-H Youth Development Nassau County Extension Office: 904-530-6353 Mobile: 904-570-5390

    [resize for email]


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