baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
baltimore Buildings
20NTC Session

Don’t Flake Out: the High Cost of Free Labor


The average person shows up to their volunteer shift ~50% of the time. For organizations that deploy volunteers for mission-critical actions, this degree of unpredictability can be crippling. The good news is flakiness can be minimized, conditioned through strategic messages and social commitments. (After all, would you be a no-show if all your friends were coming, too?) Having studied and tracked what motivates 1M+ nonprofit volunteers to show up or not, we’ll share how we reduced flakes by ~30% and offer three things you can start doing now (online and offline) to increase the chances that those who say they’re going to show … actually do. We’ll use the first 15 min to share our answers and data; then we’ll spend the rest of the time in small groups designing actionable plans, tailored to each organization, that you can execute immediately to drive a more predictable and engaged volunteer workforce.

Learning Outcomes

  • Design and execute an actionable plan for reducing flake rate in your organizations
  • Make volunteers a strategic focus by articulating a data-driven business case for reducing flake rate
  • Advocate for more volunteer resources by demonstrating the high cost of a flaky workforce

Target Audience

Volunteer staff, HR staff and nonprofit leaders relying on a volunteer workforce for mission-critical service delivery




March 26, 2020


1:45pm – 3:00pm