Exit Interviews

Exit interviews are another valuable tool for gathering information that will help retain volunteers.  Exit interviews should be conducted with long term volunteers who are moving on and with short term or episodic volunteers. Both can offer valuable and distinctive perspectives on their experiences with your organization.

Take the time to develop a good exit strategy in order to gain this valuable insight into your organization. The purpose of the exit interview is to give a sense of closure to the volunteer experience, to identify the perceived strengths and weaknesses in your program and to identify any gaps that may exist in your volunteer management strategies.  Volunteers should be encouraged to speak honestly about their experiences. Ideally exit interviews would be conducted in person but given time and distance challenges telephone interviews or email exchanges based on a simple exit questionnaire can still be very helpful.

Here are some questions you could ask when a volunteer leaves your program:

  • What was your favourite part about volunteering here?
  • What could have we done to improve your volunteer experience?
  • Did you receive enough training and support?

The St.John’s Ambulance organization has produced an excellent exit interview resource available online.

Given the importance of volunteers in the work of literacy organizations the tasks associated with volunteer management can seem daunting. Don’t let the volume of information become overwhelming. You don’t need to tackle all of these areas at once!

Take it one step at a time and revisit this site often to identify and prioritize those areas of your volunteer management strategy that you want to address next.