BUILD Boston: Retaining Volunteers and Increasing Their Engagement

The Use Case

In November 2021 Angela stepped into her new role as Director of Mentor and Community Engagement at BUILD Boston, an entrepreneurship program for underserved high school students. She was excited to apply her years of community outreach experience to developing strategies for mentor recruitment, enrollment, and training. Earlier in her career, Angela had worked with Beth and recalled her focus on helping nonprofits strategically engage their supporters. As she eased into her new role, Angela welcomed the opportunity to work with Beth again.

After thinking critically about the engagement pyramid… I became more confident in asking volunteers to move along their journey.

The Strategy

Beth coached Angela through building the key components of an engagement strategy. The process allowed for thoughtful preparation and reflection between sessions. It wasn’t always easy, but in the end, Angela was able to connect the dots. She appreciated how Beth challenged ideas and strategies in a thoughtful way which led her to new solutions and critical thinking.

“In my new role at BUILD Boston I was excited for the opportunity to be more strategic and to think outside the box. Working with Beth provided the coaching I needed. I presented the goals map, pyramid and synopsis of our work to our whole staff and it was REALLY well-received.” I showed everyone the resources and explained the process and now we’re all speaking the common language of engagement strategy!”

The Action

Angela’s supervisor and coworkers were very receptive as Angela shared the process of defining goals that work toward the organization’s vision and building the pyramid, a framework to measure engagement. The team quickly embraced the concepts and adopted a common language of engagement strategy.

 

Now, we have a clearer idea of why our work is important – not only for our students but also for our supporters. We are also talking about how to develop even more relevant opportunities that engage our mentors and other supporters.

The Results

Beth’s coaching and BUILD’s supportive culture enabled Angela to quickly employ what she learned. She feels more confident in creating and offering new opportunities for volunteer engagement because she knows that an offer to engage more fully in BUILD’s mission is a true value proposition.

“After thinking critically about the engagement pyramid and having opportunities to offer volunteers at every level, I became more confident in asking volunteers to move along their journey. I had a meeting with a current mentor who was about to become disengaged because their student was disengaged. However, I knew this mentor cared a lot about our mission. I came to the meeting with two direct asks. After being coached by Beth, I was more confident in asking and was ready to accept a yes or no answer– I was equipped with how to move forward regardless of their answer. Luckily they said yes to my requests so they’re moving up the pyramid!”