Association committees play a crucial role in the functioning and success of an organization. They can be structured to focus on various aspects of the organization’s operations, member services, and strategic goals. Common types of association committees include executive, finance, awards, chapters, etc. Engaging association members to volunteer for committees can be challenging but is essential for the vitality and success of any organization.


Here are some strategies to encourage members to get involved:

  1. Communicate the Value of Volunteering

Highlight the impact of the committee on the association by clearly communicating how said committee benefits the organization and the community it serves. And how the volunteer will bring value to it. As part of the volunteer pitch to the member, also emphasize the personal and professional growth opportunities, such as networking, skill development, and leadership experience for the potential volunteer.


  1. Make Volunteering Accessible

Offer various volunteer roles that require different levels of commitment. This allows members to choose opportunities that fit their schedules. Provide clear role descriptions of what each committee does and what is expected from volunteers. This helps members understand the scope of their potential involvement.


  1. Streamline the Volunteer Process

Simplify the process of signing up for committees. Use online forms and clear instructions to reduce any barriers to getting involved. Offer comprehensive orientation and training sessions to equip volunteers with the necessary knowledge and skills. This ensures they feel prepared and confident in their roles.


  1. Personal Invitations and Outreach

Personalize the invitation to volunteer by reaching out individually to members. A personal ask, whether via phone call, email, or face-to-face conversation, can be very effective. Encourage board members and other leaders to actively recruit volunteers. Their enthusiasm and endorsement can inspire others to join.


  1. Highlight Success Stories

Feature stories from current or past volunteers about their positive experiences. Testimonials can illustrate the benefits and satisfaction that come from volunteering. Regularly update members on the progress and results of committee work. Demonstrating tangible outcomes can motivate members to contribute their time and effort.


  1. Regular Follow-Up and Engagement

Keep volunteers engaged with regular communication. Provide updates on projects, upcoming opportunities, and organizational news. Ask for feedback from volunteers to understand their experiences and identify areas for improvement. Showing that their opinions matter can increase their commitment.


  1. Recognize and Appreciate Volunteers

Acknowledge volunteers’ contributions in newsletters, on the website, and at events. Highlighting their efforts publicly can motivate others to get involved. Offer small incentives such as certificates, thank-you notes, or awards. Even a simple gesture of appreciation can go a long way.


  1. Create a Sense of Community

Foster a welcoming environment where volunteers can form connections with each other. Social events, team-building activities, and informal gatherings can strengthen these bonds. Mentorship Programs that pair new volunteers with experienced members who can provide guidance and support. This mentorship can make new volunteers feel more comfortable and engaged.


By implementing these strategies, associations can create a more engaging and supportive environment that encourages members to volunteer for committees, ultimately strengthening the organization and its mission.


Check out the following Strauss articles on Association Volunteer Leaders including: