Daily Archives: March 5, 2012

Audience development and keeping your volunteers happy from the start

So, I signed up online to volunteer for a nonprofit in my area.  I received a form letter beginning with “Hello!”  The volunteer sign-up form had my name as the first field.  Why didn’t they use my name?  Did they want to start off on the foot that I didn’t matter as a unique person?  They do want me to volunteer, right?

I am amazed at how many organizations that are in need of volunteers actually do not treat their volunteers as well as they could, and often they start off on the wrong foot.  Keeping volunteers happy from the beginning is of major importance for many reasons.  For one, they will be doing work that is needing to be done for free (you want and need their help).  Secondly, because they now have an inside look at your organization, their new perceptions can be extremely helpful or harmful.  In this day and age of social media and having 200+ friends alerted to our thoughts throughout the day, it could take only a few people saying something good or bad to have it spread like gangbusters.

Yes, keeping volunteers happy takes a little bit of time and effort, but having people that will actually do good and spread the good word for you is well worth those extra few seconds to address them as a person. Treat your volunteers with respect and gratitude right from the start and you will be happy too.

Cheers to happy and loyal audiences,

Shoshana Fanizza

Audience Development Specialists



“Never treat your audience as customers, always as partners.”
~James Stewart

Join us for our next webinar:
March 16th – Noon ET

Working with Mobile Technology to Develop Your Audience
With the rapid adoption of web-enabled cell phones, smartphones and tablet computers, what options are available to arts professionals who want to engage their audiences via mobile devices? How can artists and organizations implement these options cost effectively without taking focus away from the art?


Shoshana Fanizza, Audience Development Specialists
Co-hosted with David Dombrosky, Chief Marketing Officer, InstantEncore
Co-produced with David Weuste, Rosebrook Classical

To Register: Click Here! 


Although we are not a non-profit, if you would like to support ADS to continue our work, you can donate here.

My eBook

New eBook!  The How of  Audience Development for the Arts: Learn the Basics, Create Your Plan

Leave a comment

Filed under arts management, Audience Development, Volunteer coordination, Volunteer Management, volunteering