Home Forums Engagement How do I start a volunteer program?

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by Laura Chamberlin 2 years ago
  • Maina Handmaker

    I need help figuring out the best way to train and retain volunteers for regular shorebird monitoring in our wetland.

    Laura Chamberlin

    I recommend starting small. Start with a small sub-set of the sites that you want to be monitored by volunteers, in follow up years you can always add more as your volunteer base grows or volunteers become more comfortable with the protocol.

    One of the most important things is to conduct a training with volunteers. This will ensure that they understand the protocol, but it will also help them understand why they are doing it, feel a part of something larger, meet their peers and build community, and participation will create a commitment that they need to continue.

    In addition to training, ongoing communication is critical. It is important that you check in with them to see how they are doing and understand challenges that they might have. As data is collected, you can also share results with volunteers so they know how their data is being used. Celebrations and volunteer recognition will go a long way in volunteer retention.

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