Member retention is important not only for the success of accomplishing the VISTA project’s goals, but also for the VISTA member’s professional development and experience. VISTAs are more likely to serve effectively and complete their service terms when they feel valued at their sites. Some ways that sponsors can ensure their VISTA members feel valued are:

  • Ensuring that all staff understand the VISTA program and the VISTA member role
  • Delivering a strong OSOT (See Planning for On-Site Orientation and Training)
  • Providing regular feedback, direction, and support, including weekly one-on-one check-ins
  • Finding out what VISTAs need to succeed and addressing those needs
  • Helping make life easier by providing supplemental benefits (See Supplemental Benefits)
  • Giving VISTA members ownership of their projects
  • Providing ongoing training and support for professional development (See Ongoing Training)
  • Thanking VISTA members personally and recognizing them publicly