Straight from the Sales Director: Volunteer Management

We all know volunteers are often the power horse behind nonprofit organizations. Goals are made and plans are set, but having the actual manpower to ensure your efforts come to fruition relies heavily on volunteers. Recruiting and managing these volunteers effectively is essential to operations and can’t be taken lightly. Below are some tips on how to recruit, manage, and reward volunteers effectively so that goals are met, people are led, and gratitude is expressed.

Make Recruitment and Applications Effortless – Imagine feeling motivated and eager to donate your time to a cause, just to end up discouraged and unable to navigate the organization’s website let alone find a volunteer application. On average users spend less than 15 seconds on a website, so ensure your recruitment process is streamlined and the application is easy to locate on your website. The last thing you want is volunteers perceiving your unorganized recruitment process as a preview to volunteer efforts as a whole. If your nonprofit needs a volunteer application, contact us and we’d be happy to provide one.

Find New Volunteers Using Your Existing Pool – One of the easiest ways to find volunteers for a new project is to tap into your current altruistic group. Conduct a “Call to Action Campaign” with your current database and entice them to recruit friends and family on your behalf. Create easy to share social posts and reward them with small incentives, like branded giveaway items, for successfully recruiting volunteers. When you have a pool of individuals who interact with each other regularly, they have a higher chance of holding each other accountable and staying engaged making it easier for you to manage larger groups at a time.

Reward and Recognize – You don’t have to break the bank to show your volunteers your appreciation. Try doing a “Shoutout Session” at the beginning of your next volunteer meeting recognizing individuals’ contributions to your organization. Verbally acknowledging and praising efforts helps recharge the batteries of your volunteers and encourages them to show up and stay longer.

Communicate Efficiently – Don’t keep your volunteers in the dark. Volunteers need to know that their work isn’t going to waste, so keep the lines of communication open; be direct and efficient when communicating information on upcoming events. Think of their efforts in numbers, as if they were hourly consultants, and treat their time as valuable.

At the root of volunteer management, remember to be genuine in all that you communicate and ask. Your sincerity will shine through and your organization will gain loyal volunteers. Other resources your nonprofit should consider for volunteer recruitment and management: Catchafire and GivePulse both global volunteer platforms. Benevity and Charity First both comprehensive donor/volunteer management platforms.

In case you missed it: Check out How to Prevent Donor Fatigue” for two ways to prevent donor fatigue and ensure your asks don’t fall on deaf ears.