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5 Methods to Stage Up Your Volunteer Program

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5 Methods to Stage Up Your Volunteer Program

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Volunteers are key to serving to nonprofits keep up and operating. From donating their time to assist out with important packages and initiatives to lending their skilled experience and expertise, volunteers assist maintain nonprofits on monitor to finish their targets.

As a nonprofit skilled, you perceive the challenges of managing a strong volunteer program. Hurdles like volunteer recruitment, volunteer burnout, and disorganized coaching could make your program much less efficient. A robust administration technique can fight these points and make your volunteer program a extra optimistic and productive expertise.

On this information to enhancing your nonprofit’s volunteer program, we’ll talk about 5 methods for managing your volunteers and enhancing their experiences along with your group: 

  1. Put money into volunteer administration software program.
  2. Make the expertise participating.
  3. Discover volunteer grants.
  4. Schedule social occasions.
  5. Present your appreciation.

Bettering your volunteer program needs to be an ongoing course of to your group that entails accepting suggestions and adjusting accordingly. Let’s get began by discussing how volunteer administration software program can streamline your administration course of. 

1. Put money into volunteer administration software program.

Top-of-the-line methods to degree up your volunteer program with out including a number of new tasks to your to-do listing is to make use of administration software program. For instance, your group would possibly already use membership administration software program. This software program can streamline tedious administrative duties and make it simpler to ship communications to all members.

Investing in administration software program to your volunteer program holds related advantages, and it will possibly even assist construct loyalty and long-term relationships between you and your volunteers and improve engagement.

Many nonprofit professionals have packed schedules, total lists of necessary tasks, and little time to commit to volunteer administration. This will make it difficult to juggle the assorted duties of managing a volunteer crew, and outdated or hard-to-use administration strategies can simply exacerbate these issues.

The precise software program may also help nonprofits higher handle their volunteer program to make for a extra participating, optimistic expertise that may maintain volunteers coming again to work along with your group. For instance, volunteer administration software program can shut communication gaps round actions like scheduling and coaching, leading to a smoother expertise.

Along with enhancing communication efforts, volunteer administration software program may also standardize coaching and supply a central hub for knowledge like your volunteers’ contact data, expertise, and availability. The precise software program may also mix seamlessly into the programs you already use. 

Software program like Salesforce permits nonprofits to combine a number of functions into one system so your group can simply join volunteer administration instruments to your communication system. For nonprofits utilizing Salesforce, analysis native apps to discover a volunteer administration answer that may combine along with your present software program. 

2. Make the expertise participating.

Simply as participating fundraising concepts drive donations, participating volunteer experiences drive long-term help.

Constructing an interesting expertise for volunteers doesn’t imply it’s a must to flip every step of the method into an thrilling occasion. For instance, giving volunteers the talents they should take part within the actions they signed up for will be sufficient to domesticate excessive volunteer engagement. 

To make the volunteer expertise extra participating, make use of the next methods:

  • Prepare your volunteers. Set your volunteers up for fulfillment by coaching them within the expertise they should full their assigned duties. Not solely does this reduce down on miscommunications and errors, but it surely additionally makes volunteers really feel like they’ve gained one thing beneficial by working along with your nonprofit.
  • Clearly designate their tasks. Define the duties you need your volunteers to take action there isn’t any confusion about what they need to be serving to out with. Bear in mind to delegate—assist your leaders and employees give attention to a very powerful duties whereas volunteers deal with the day-to-day ones. 
  • Ask for (and take heed to) their suggestions. Verify-in along with your volunteers often to gauge how they really feel about this system. You possibly can implement an nameless survey system to make sure you obtain trustworthy solutions or have volunteer managers ask volunteers for suggestions immediately to present them the house to develop on their solutions and reply to follow-up questions. You should definitely acknowledge any suggestions you obtain and establish recurring tendencies in suggestions to make optimistic adjustments to your volunteer program.

An enticing expertise will make volunteers really feel extra motivated to proceed working along with your nonprofit, significantly in the event that they really feel like communication between them and your group is a two-way road. 

3. Discover volunteer grants.

Volunteer grants can profit any group with a dependable volunteer program. Double the Donation defines volunteer grants as “company giving packages that encourage volunteerism in communities the place workers stay and work.” In different phrases, volunteer grant packages encourage eligible neighborhood members to help native nonprofits, realizing that their work will likely be accompanied by a financial contribution from their employer.

Volunteer grant packages profit your nonprofit by:

  • Rising funding. Employers with a volunteer grant program will donate to the nonprofits their workers volunteer at. This implies nonprofits are in a position to earn funding from the work that their volunteers could have deliberate to do anyway. 
  • Encouraging volunteerism. A volunteer grant offers native workers an incentive to volunteer with native nonprofits. As a result of these grants give the nonprofit further funding primarily based on the time the worker spends volunteering, they might really feel extra compelled to volunteer to spice up their contribution to the trigger.

Many of those grants go unclaimed as a result of volunteers aren’t conscious that their employers supply them. A robust volunteer administration system may also help your group establish these alternatives by centralizing donor knowledge (equivalent to employer data) and opening channels for communication. That method, you may extra simply ask donors to verify their volunteer grant eligibility.

4. Schedule social occasions.

One common purpose for volunteering is assembly new individuals with related pursuits. Establishing social occasions that permit volunteers to get to know one another may also help facilitate these relationships.

Whereas nonprofits can host social occasions like vacation events or dinners at native eating places, your group can encourage new friendships through the volunteering course of as effectively. For instance, you could possibly schedule a bunch of volunteers to work on a marketing campaign on the similar time in order that they have the chance to speak with each other.

Encouraging your volunteers to socialize can:

  • Strengthen neighborhood ties.
  • Assist them meet new individuals with frequent pursuits.
  • Get them enthusiastic about volunteering as a result of they may look ahead to assembly up with new buddies.

In case your group has a powerful understanding of its volunteers’ pursuits and personalities, you could possibly type teams or pairs of volunteers who’re more likely to hit it off. One other technique for facilitating relationships between volunteers is to group them primarily based on demographic components like age. For instance, youthful supporters are likely to get pleasure from working with others, they usually could have extra in frequent with volunteers of their age group.

In case your nonprofit has a big volunteer program however struggles to construct a powerful neighborhood, volunteer administration software program may also help. Software program that may host volunteer profiles, assist handle occasions, and report volunteer engagement can present your nonprofit with correct volunteer knowledge that may inform the way you facilitate volunteer socialization alternatives. To construct a powerful community of volunteers, your group may have to think about switching to a CRM with the performance you want.

5. Present your appreciation.

Stewarding relationships with volunteers by staying related with them is simply as necessary as stewarding your donors. Simply as your donors enable you keep up and operating with monetary contributions, your volunteers give their time and power to furthering your mission. Plus, these areas overlap fairly a bit with volunteers donating ten instances as a lot cash to nonprofit organizations than those that don’t volunteer.

Taking the time to indicate that you simply worth your volunteers can go a good distance towards constructing deep, private relationships that encourage years of devoted help. Just a few methods to indicate your appreciation for his or her exhausting work embody:

  • Saying thanks. Ship your volunteers messages expressing gratitude equivalent to thank-you letters or emails. To make these messages extra private, think about calling volunteers on the telephone and thanking them in individual every day after they end their shifts.
  • Recognizing volunteers publicly. Determine your high volunteers by honoring them at your subsequent fundraising occasion or highlighting them in your group’s social media account. One of the best ways to trace their exhausting work is thru volunteer administration software program that may report their hours labored, be aware their tasks, and monitor different preferences that could be helpful for figuring out the way you’ll acknowledge them.
  • Collaborating in volunteer holidays. Holidays equivalent to Nationwide Volunteer Week and Worldwide Volunteer Day are devoted to recognizing the work volunteers do. Plan a enjoyable weekend occasion with video games and snacks to your volunteers and their households to honor their contributions.

Exhibiting your volunteers that you simply admire them is vital to cultivating a personalised connection along with your group. As Fionta’s information to participating volunteers highlights, stewardship is a necessary a part of retaining any of your supporters, not simply donors. Use your CRM to attach your messaging instruments and volunteer profiles, permitting you to simply reference particular particulars that may make every thanks message distinctive. 


Whereas it may be tough to juggle duties associated to your volunteer program with different tasks, sustaining a strong volunteer program is essential. With no crew of devoted volunteers, your intense year-end fundraiser or elaborate capital marketing campaign wouldn’t be potential. Selecting volunteer administration software program that helps you manage knowledge and streamline the volunteer course of may also help you create a powerful program your supporters will need to return to.


In regards to the Creator

Karin Tracy

Karin Tracy, VP of Advertising and marketing at Fíonta, is a seasoned designer and marketer with a ardour for serving nonprofit organizations and being a small a part of bettering the world. She is a licensed Pardot Advisor and Advertising and marketing Cloud Electronic mail Specialist, a fan of automation and reporting, a lover of animals, and devourer of popcorn.

At Fíonta, Karin drives advertising and marketing efforts for all inner and exterior initiatives. Her direct service work is targeted totally on advertising and marketing technique and automation for Fíonta’s MCAE (Pardot) purchasers.

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