Imagine your next phone-a-thon, beach cleanup, or another volunteer event. Your volunteers are working harder than ever, but everyone is smiling, laughing, and enjoying themselves. Teams that mesh so well doesn’t happen overnight. The best nonprofits know how essential teamwork is and cultivate better collaboration through team building. Whether you work with hundreds of volunteers or two, the organizational benefits of team building are plenty. Your volunteers are more likely to keep working with you, and the work they do will be of higher quality.
As your personal volunteer management software, Volgistics can help you organize fun and engaging team-building activities. The tool keeps track of your volunteers, new and old, so you can invite everyone to your team-building events. If you’d like to invite volunteers who’ve put in a specific number of hours, you can use a set to filter volunteers and build your invite list. Don’t forget to add the event to your Volgistics calendar, so your invitees can plan to attend. Then, send email and text reminders so you can have a great turnout.
Why is Team Building Important?
Team building is any circumstance or activity that brings your team members closer together. Usually, team-building experiences pull employees or team members out of their usual environments. They break the ice and provide a much-needed fresh perspective.
Team-oriented events and activities help workplaces of all stripes work better together. When co-workers know each other well, they’re more effective teammates. They won’t compete against each other to the company’s detriment. Instead, they lift each other up and feel more engaged in their work. People also execute their solo projects better when they’re happy and well-connected at work.
Large corporations recognize the value of teams. They may send their employees to a plush retreat or have a consultant run an all-day team challenge. Your organization might even host corporate groups for volunteer events, as many companies recognize volunteering as a great team-building activity. Still, it’s not only for businesses. You must realize the importance of team building within your nonprofit. While nonprofits may not have the budgets for lavish affairs, they need team building just the same.
It’s no secret that nonprofits can do amazing things with a shoestring budget. Those incredible efforts are only possible with teamwork and a passionate group of people who are greater than the sum of their parts. Regularly tending to and nurturing those relationships helps organizations flourish and continue to do the essential work they need to do.
Nonprofits, in particular, need the help of board members, paid staff, and dedicated volunteers. These various team members interact in different ways, and some more than others. When you need the entire team to run like a well-oiled machine for an upcoming event, it helps when everyone has gotten to know each other. Often, the people involved in a volunteer organization show up out of a love of helping others. Volunteers work with you because they want to — not because they’re getting paid. Keeping their passion alive is crucial.
The benefits of team building for volunteers are virtually endless. It’s vital for nonprofits for reasons like these.
Volunteering is hard work. Many organizations struggle to raise the funds they need, while others are understaffed. Even a well-funded organization with a small army of passionate volunteers will face occasional hardships. All work and no play can cause anyone stress. When someone is dedicating their free time to you outside their full-time job, it’s crucial to find ways to relieve stress.
Team-building events are fun. They get people up from their desks, out of their workspaces, and enjoying time together. Whether it’s enjoying delicious food, playing games, or going on an adventure, they are ideal for alleviating tension and stress.
Unites Your Team Under Your Organization’s Cause
A team-building activity helps remind your staff and volunteers about your organization’s impact. Activities themed around your mission can excite and invigorate your team. You might plan a team-building event right before your largest annual fundraiser or a volunteer event. Participating can help everyone orient themselves toward the task at hand.
They’ll get to know who they’ll be working with, so everyone can be more effective and engaged when the time comes. Involving your volunteers in your mission through team building can significantly impact your organization’s success. In particular, it can help with volunteer retention. Just as engaged workforces experience 24% less turnover, a committed volunteer group will continue serving your organization for a long time.
Celebrates the Progress You’ve Made as a Team
One area of importance for team building as a nonprofit organization is looking back on what you’ve already accomplished. After a milestone, you might plan a thank-you event for all the volunteers and people who made it happen. These team-building events will strengthen the bonds you’ve already formed and get people excited about contributing more in the future. Everyone likes to feel appreciated. A fun team-building event is a perfect way to show your gratitude and celebrate everyone’s hard work.
Volunteers are more likely to continue contributing to your cause when they have friends waiting for them. Promoting bonding among your volunteers and between staff members is an excellent opportunity to improve retention. If your volunteer needs are cyclical, a team-building event in your off-season can help maintain the bonds your volunteers have with each other. They’ll be more ready to do their best work when they return next year. Volunteers and staff members alike can reach new heights when they feel close with the people they’re working alongside.
Team-Building Ideas for Volunteer Organizations
Team building for volunteer organizations might look slightly different from when massive corporations or executive suites go on lavish retreats. Still, with a little ingenuity, you can come up with fresh and enjoyable volunteer team-building ideas that won’t break your budget. Here are a few ideas for how to do team building with volunteers.
After a job well done, say thank you to all the volunteers and other team members who made it happen. How you celebrate your team accomplishments all depends on your achievements and employee culture. A slideshow of all the things you did last year and an awards ceremony can remind everyone of the valuable work you do. Volgistics can even track the volunteers who are eligible for specific awards.
Another option is to invite the people you’ve helped to take part in the gratitude and celebrations. When volunteers see the people they’ve helped firsthand, they can genuinely appreciate the work they’ve done. Your celebrations can also inspire your team to keep making positive impacts.
A game night is an easy and inexpensive way to promote bonding. A few board games scattered around the office with some snacks and music is enough to help everyone let loose, enjoy some friendly competition, and have a little fun. This event is so simple — you could host it once a month or even once a week if you wanted to. Consider adding a little more novelty by hosting a casino night, a bingo tournament, bar trivia, or bowling.
Events and Outings
Chances are, there’s plenty to do in your backyard that would help your team get to know each other better and have some fun. Getting everyone out of the office is an excellent way to promote bonding and remind your team of all your community has to offer. Take a cooking class, tour a brewery, visit an archery range, or find something else nearby. Remember to ask for nonprofit and group discounts!
If you don’t have the budget for an off-site event, you can host something at your office, like a talent competition, karaoke night, or a kickball game.
Part of the team-building formula is getting people a little out of their comfort zones. You don’t need to send everyone to a tropical island to whisk them away from their day-to-day activities. Take everyone to the local beach, lake, or pool club, or for a weekend camping in the mountains. If you have organized activities and meetings on the agenda, be sure to leave time for exploring, socializing, and having fun together.
See How Volgistics Can Help You Build a Stronger Volunteer Team
As a volunteer manager, you recognize the importance of team building for nonprofit organizations. When your volunteers work together, they can accomplish more and continue serving your organization’s mission.
The Volgistics software can help you build a stronger team in many ways. First, the recruiting and volunteer application features help you grow your team. An intuitive, user-friendly organization makes it easier for you to schedule volunteers and stay in touch with them. Volunteers can easily log in to their portal and adjust their schedules as needed. These features make your team more efficient, so you can keep doing what you do best.