Some of the most common problems that crop up when you are managing your volunteers include:
Whether you’re launching a brand new volunteer management program or looking to make an existing one better, these tips will help you overcome those challenges, by:
It’s clear that your volunteer recruitment copy needs to be able to inspire prospects to get involved in your cause. The other thing that you need to be aware of is specificity. It’s an easy mistake to make. A vague call-to-action (“Volunteer here!”) leads to volunteers who are less likely to stick around down the line.
Making it clear what exactly you want from your volunteers will help both you and them. You can do that by answering the following questions:
End by providing a contact number that they can reach if they have any further questions.
Once you have the messaging for your volunteer call-to-action ready, you can repurpose it for different recruitment channels. If you’re looking for new volunteers, try:
If you’re looking for volunteers among your existing supporters:
The next step is training your pipeline of willing volunteers for specialized roles.
In addition to general evaluation, talk to each prospective volunteer in order to understand the skill sets that they have to offer your campaign (i.e. if they have a natural aptitude towards a particular role).
Note which area of volunteering they would be best suited towards. All the information you get during this stage will come in handy once you are running further outreach campaigns to supporters who have expressed interest in volunteering. In addition, understanding your volunteer aptitudes can help you:
For example, some volunteers may be comfortable speaking to potential donors and soliciting funds, making them ideal candidates for field fundraising efforts. With your volunteers assigned their roles, it’s time to keep them in the loop when it comes to tasks.
Create channels for two-way communication between you and your volunteers. This helps you build a stronger relationship with your volunteers, and it’s especially important if they are helping you remotely, or on the ground.
Chances are, you’re already using software for parts of your volunteer management process (a CRM, for example). If you are, you already know how digital tools ease the volunteer management process.
Obviously, if you are running a smaller operation, with fewer required volunteers, implementing everything listed above can be time consuming (and frankly, unnecessary). Adopt volunteer management strategies based on your needs. For example:
Incremental improvements to your volunteer management process is often more feasible than a complete overhaul.
This post was written by Mukundan Sivaraj. Mukundan is a writer at CallHub, an outreach platform that connects nonprofits with their supporters through voice and text messages. Mukundan’s focus on nonprofit technology and communication helps him show organizations big and small how technology can help elevate their cause.