Boost Volunteer Engagement Through Nordic Trailblazers eLearning Program

Many nonprofit organizations and wellness retreats struggle with recruiting, training, and retaining their volunteer base. We have found that eLearning programs automating the onboarding process costs less and is more effective than trying to onboard volunteers on site. We base our courses on case studies and our model can be applied by any nonprofit organization to:

  • Boost volunteer engagement
  • Reduce training costs associated with instructor-led training (e.g., personnel, materials, classroom space)
  • Prepare volunteers for tasks before they arrive
  • Reduce overall attrition.

The Model For Success

If your nonprofit organization or wellness retreat wants to expand its volunteer program, Nordic Trailblazers can help you implement a sustainable model:

  • Design and launch a social media campaign to boost enrollment in the volunteer program.
  • Provide a direct link for potential volunteers to sign up and complete the required training online.
  • Use an eLearning system to house all online training that learners can access and complete remotely.
  • Set up the eLearning so courses are automatically assigned to volunteers based on their desired roles and responsibilities.
  • Offer orientation and coursework that allows volunteers to experience the performance environment and properly prepares them to succeed on their first day of training. Specifically, include scenario-based interactions that help learners visualize how they should apply key concepts and skills on the job.
  • Allow volunteers to apply for specific roles and responsibilities directly in the eLearning system after they have completed the required training.

The Volunteer Experience

Consider this change from a volunteer’s perspective. Instead of coming in to complete face-to-face training, volunteers enjoy a more streamlined onboarding experience from the comfort of their own homes.

1. A social media advertisement invites a member of the community to volunteer at your organization and provides a link to enroll in the program. The volunteer accesses the eLearning hub and creates an account.

2. The volunteer selects a role, such as “I Want to Become a Volunteer.”

3. The volunteer is automatically assigned all coursework that is required for his or her desired role prior to the first day of service (e.g., General Orientation, Canine Handling, Code of Conduct, Becoming a Foster Volunteer, Yoga retreat Volunteering). After completing the training, the volunteer fills out a volunteer application in the eLearning system.

4. The volunteer shows up on the first day with realistic expectations and fully prepared to interact with staff members to complete responsibilities.

The Results

Through recruiting volunteers via social media and enabling volunteers to complete training online before their first day of service, Nordic Trailblazers has been able to:

  • Scale its volunteer program from the ability to train volunteers in small numbers each year to nearly 6,000 volunteers.
  • Reduce training costs by delivering learning online and eliminating the need for instructors, training facilities, and classroom materials.
  • Train its volunteer base before they arrive, maximizing their onsite time to complete volunteer work instead of training.
  • Reduce attrition, since volunteers have better expectations of their roles and responsibilities before their first day of volunteering.