Summary: In today’s podcast, Evelyn Lemly from Kairos Prison Ministry International and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss the need to engage and inspire volunteers. These solutions are helping nonprofits cut through the challenges of staff dearth while ensuring the efficient execution of projects, especially the fundraising campaigns.

How to Engage and Inspire Your Organization’s Volunteers

The importance of volunteers to nonprofits cannot be overemphasized, especially in recent times when nonprofit functions are increasingly becoming more complex. Volunteers are the most valuable asset in nonprofit operations and success. Volunteers hold up the foundation of nonprofits by filling many roles in different capacities. Plus, they have varying skill sets that allow nonprofit access to a selection of expertise. Moreso volunteers actively participate in fundraising campaigns and program delivery to save their organizations millions of dollars. It is not surprising then it has become vital that every nonprofit recruit and keep a strong base of volunteeEngaging and inspiring nonprofit volunteersrs through proper engagement by inspiring them.

Knowing how to engage and inspire your nonprofit volunteers is critical to its success. After all, It’s has become evident that many nonprofits are not viable enough to hold onto paid staff that will help pilot the activities of their nonprofits to meet their set goals effectively. Consequently, it has become imperative nonprofits should learn to leverage volunteers by equipping them with the skill sets and leadership ability to help facilitate the many works of nonprofits, including fundraising campaigns.

Training the Volunteers 

Training is a veritable way of inspiring and engaging volunteers for the smooth running of every nonprofit. Still, many nonprofits are faced with the challenges of having well-meaning people lacking in many of the skills they need most. In other words, many volunteers are entrusted with complicated tasks that demand hands-on training, a lot of understanding, and knowledge to perform properly.

Nonprofits should provide their volunteers with the full training that will enable them to be relevant and productive with the greatest possible excellence within the organizations. However, while enthusiasm for a nonprofit’s cause is a great idea, it needs to be harnessed and aligned to meet the organization’s set goals.

The Importance of Volunteers Training

There’s no denying that volunteers constitute a sizeable part of many nonprofits today. Hence,  volunteers training has become an absolute necessity for the efficient running of nonprofits. Training helps newly recruited members know the nonprofit’s culture, programs, and the job they are expected to perform pretty quickly. In addition, volunteer training ensures a competency threshold that all volunteers are expected to obtain. These ensure that volunteers are properly motivated and engaged.

Then again, many volunteers see training as a veritable benefit of being part of the nonprofits. Training equips them with the requisite skill sets that may be useful for them elsewhere and may even help them get paying jobs in the future. Furthermore, training engenders a level of proficiency. In other words, by training your volunteers, you’re publicly proclaiming that your nonprofit is professional and capable of performing specific tasks very well.

Structure and Leadership

A well-designed structure and leadership are critical aspects of volunteers engagement. Nonprofits should put in place a clear-cut organogram that is structured, ground up, and cut across every level, including local communities, states, and federal, for the proper integration of every volunteer. A formalized structure streamlines the leadership of the volunteers by ensuring that every member is perfectly plugged into the nonprofits’ projects through division of labor. 

Focusing on Your Mission

Every nonprofit should have its purpose embedded in its mission statement. A clear articulation of ideas helps nonprofits draw volunteers who are inspired and engaged who share a similar belief with them. The nonprofit’s culture includes:

  • The cause intends to achieve.
  • The strategies to go about it.
  • The ways to realize them.

Moreso, having a clear purpose, being passionate about it, and understanding the impact of your mission on others makes it pretty easy to raise the necessary fund to finance your nonprofit’s projects. In addition, owners of nonprofits should constantly communicate their purpose and culture to the people working for their nonprofits to enable them not to lose focus of their mission and very existence.


For nonprofits, a virile volunteer program is ideal as the cost of maintaining them is pretty inexpensive. Volunteering should be an indispensable aspect of the organization’s management function. Every nonprofit that craves success should painstakingly develop a volunteer engagement program that fosters quality experience while ensuring goals are reached according to the set guideline and standards. 

About our Guest Evelyn Lemly

Evelyn Lemly is the CEO of Kairos Prison Ministry International, where she has been a catalyst for positive change since January 2013. Evelyn embraces a vision and makes it a reality through her sound decision-making. She is an inspirational leader respected for her incredible work ethic and integrity. Under her leadership, the ministry currently serves in more than 500 institutions and communities throughout the world sharing God’s love and forgiveness to those affected by incarceration.

About Stephen Halasnik

Stephen Halasnik is the host of the popular, The Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The Nonprofit MBA podcast’s purpose is to help nonprofit leaders. Stephen is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Financing Solutions, a leading provider of loans for nonprofits in the form of Lines of Credit to nonprofits. Stephen is a best-selling Amazon author and is considered a leading authority on building great, purpose-driven businesses. Stephen lives in New Jersey with his wife, Gina. Mr. Halasnik’s number one purpose is raising his two boys, Michael and Maxwell, to be good men.

10% of profits from Financing Solutions is donated to charity.