19 November 2021 | 3 min read


We’re wrapping up another year.



Technology has advanced, social interaction feels different these days, and how we do business is evolving. 



Like it or not, our post-pandemic world has brought some changes, and organizations are still reeling from the side effects.  


As nonprofits start focusing on end-of-year donations, it can be easy to lessen attention on volunteerism. But these next few months will play a vital role in how your organization handles volunteers in the upcoming year. Right now, organizations are struggling to recruit and retain volunteers.



The answer to this volunteer problem? Two words: LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT. 



Focusing on leadership development at the end of your year may seem counterintuitive. As people prepare for the holidays and spend less time volunteering, it may feel like wasted effort. But this is actually the perfect time to invest in your leaders. 


All it takes is a little bit of time and a clear goal in mind. Invite two or three of your team at a time to grab a coffee. Talk about life, their personal goals for the next year, and how you appreciate them. Share the organization’s vision for the upcoming year and how you see them playing a significant role in accomplishing that vision. Basically, invest time in your team. 



We recently ran a series about Building a Culture that Builds Leaders. During the series, we talked about how to coach from the sidelines so that your team is empowered, how to make odd pairings and switch up the team’s dynamic so each member is stretched and grows personally. We talked about giving people a safe space to grow by giving chances and celebrating failure. Finally, we weighed the value of investing in quality time and creating controlled conflict by building personal relationships with your staff. 



Why is the idea of building leadership development into the fabric of your organizational culture so vital? 



Because we’ve learned that leaders who have been developed develop others. As you invest in your team, you are creating a ripple effect. Your leaders will develop other leaders. If you want your volunteer base to grow, you must lay a solid foundation with your current team. 



The end of the year is the perfect time to review what your team has accomplished, track what needs to be corrected for the next year and reset goals. People tend to feel more nostalgic, hopeful and want to refocus in the fall. According to behavioral scientist, Clarissa Silva, “The fall is a season of change and the next stage…the new season will bring us closer to our goals and desires…It provides us with the ability to put in motion plans that will materialize those goals and desires.” 


Let’s end the year and kick off the next with a clear goal in mind: developing our team into world-class leaders.