Volunteer management takes quite a bit of time and effort. However, in many small and mid-sized agencies, the volunteer coordinator position is not a full-time endeavor. Most often, the coordinator actually has a primary job title, and volunteer coordination has been tucked into that role’s responsibilities. In last July’s blog we explored some tips for actually making a full-time coordinator hire. Today we will explore some factors that may indicate when to make that move.
When You Are Losing Opportunities
Opportunity costs are simply what you are missing out on by doing or not doing something. For instance, we know that a volunteer’s time is worth $20 per hour. How many more volunteers do you think you could recruit if you had a full-time coordinator?
Now, think about how many more hours you could get out of your current volunteer staff if you had someone who could devote more time to them. Add these together, and you’ve got the opportunity costs of not creating a full-time volunteer coordinator position.
Compare this figure to what you would spend on a coordinator’s salary, and you have a conservative estimate that will help you determine whether the position will pay for itself or not. Don’t forget: if you put those volunteers into revenue-producing activities, such as fundraising, you will be in even better shape. In many cases, you’ll find that you are missing out on a great return on investment because your current coordinator just can’t find the time to devote to the program.
When the Coordinator Role Doesn’t Fit
Sometimes, though, it’s not really about the numbers. It’s about quality. There are some instances where volunteer coordination duties fall on someone who doesn’t have the time and/or aptitude necessary to focus on the job. Sometimes his or her main job title has absolutely nothing to do with volunteers. Usually it’s a case of doing the job simply to help out the organization. However, if the coordination role competes with the job’s main duties, then performance in both positions may suffer. Having someone who is struggling in the coordination role can downgrade the perception of your program. This is especially true if you consider the fact that your volunteers will talk, tweet, and Facebook about their experience with the organization, both good and bad.
When You Want to Transform the Position’s Function
Squeezed for time, many volunteer coordinators resign themselves to becoming glorified secretaries, handling the incoming calls, responding to emails, and touching base to remind people about upcoming volunteer events. But as we mentioned above, the job can be so much more… and VolunteerHub can help. Our volunteer management software allows a shift in the coordinator’s job, so he or she can spend much less time on paperwork and instead concentrate on activities such as directing and recruiting volunteers. VolunteerHub stops the stream of phone calls and emails regarding volunteer opportunities and puts an end to the pile of various spreadsheets and registration lists. Instead, it takes just a minute or two to post an event online, and then volunteers have access to your calendar of volunteer events at all times. They can view it at their convenience and register via your Hub with just a few mouse clicks, while all their contact information is conveniently stored on VolunteerHub’s secure servers. With automatic email and text capabilities, VolunteerHub even sends out event reminders, so you can “set it and forget it.” Our volunteer management software also makes keeping track of volunteer hours a snap. Registration, communication, and tracking… it’s all in one place and stored in the cloud. With all these advantages, VolunteerHub gives your organization the freedom to concentrate more on your volunteers… and less on coordination.
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