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The Hidden Secrets of Volunteer Leadership

The Hidden Secrets of Volunteer Leadership

Volunteers are the foundation of any association, without them ... what gets done? Volunteers are dedicating their time and talents to your association in many ways. In return, show volunteers they have made the right decision by becoming part of your volunteer team.

What are the key components you need to be aware of as you build your volunteer leadership team?


Building Effective Volunteer Leadership

Are you engaged in the following building blocks of volunteer leadership?


  • Clearly defined descriptions for all volunteer roles, with a focus on core competencies.
  • A defined recruitment process reflecting your board's and committees' diversity with a goal of filling areas of need with strength.
  • Standardized onboarding and off-boarding processes that reflect both the association's roles and culture.
  • Up-to-date policies and procedures that are volunteer role-specific beyond what is found in your organization’s terms of references and by-laws.
  • Annual volunteer assessments, evaluations, and feedback mechanisms to ensure retention and succession planning best practices.
  • Recognition plans that include a diverse means of informally and formally acknowledging volunteers and staff in ways that reflect the volunteers’ interests.
  • A plan for developing leaders based on their “soft” skills, with a look towards a mentorship or coaching program that can engage your outgoing leaders and their skills and experiences.



Lori will be speaking at this year's conference, Associations: Future Proof in Ottawa. Her session, The Hidden Secrets of Volunteer Leadership, will explore in depth what she has merely hinted at here. Register to discover ways to improve your association's ability to lead its volunteers towards success.



Lori Gotlieb, Volunteers, Leadership, CSAE Conference & Showcase


Events, Guest Contributor, Governance / Leadership



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