Scheduling just the right amount of staff for an event can be difficult. Underscheduling has its obvious problems and is what volunteer coordinators worry about the most. However, overscheduling, with its own set of issues, can be just as problematic. Below we’ll discuss some of the challenges presented by each.
Not having enough people to run an event properly is almost every volunteer coordinator’s nightmare. And rightfully so: if you don’t have enough manpower, you take a lot of risks. If there aren’t enough helpers to execute tasks, then attendees will have a poor experience. Depending on the mission of the event, this could mean less services rendered, donations received, or whatever the goal of your event was. You’ll also take a hit in the public relations department. Attendees and volunteers alike will start to question the competence of the program. Volunteers may be especially affected, since they may be doing more work than they had anticipated.
After experiencing the trials of underscheduling a few times, most volunteer coordinators go out of their way to recruit more folks than they actually need. On the surface, this seems like a good idea. However, overscheduling can be just as frustrating. First off, having a glut of unexpected volunteers can take its toll on an organization’s resources. Paid staff will have to spend much more time directing and instructing. The purchase of additional last-minute materials and refreshments can take its toll on your budget. But perhaps more important than the resource drain is once again the public relations side of things. If volunteers find themselves standing around not working, they may find themselves not as engaged with the event as they could be. They’re also likely to feel that you are wasting their time because you have very little for them to do. And when it comes to sign-up at future events, they’ll probably assume you’ve got it more than covered and opt out.
Effective Volunteer Management
If your organization is experiencing either of these situations, VolunteerHub is here to help. With our cloud-based volunteer management system, volunteer coordinators have the ability to post the activities they need covered and even set a maximum number of sign-ups per position. You will be able to log into your Hub and see at a glance the number of volunteers registered for each event. If you need to recruit, VolunteerHub is there to help communicate that message to volunteers though email and/or text messages. Worried that your volunteers will need a reminder message? Put it on auto-pilot with a pre-scheduled reminder email that goes out when you want it to be sent. The day of the event, you can keep track of volunteers by printing a sign-in sheet. And after the event is finished, VolunteerHub can have a “thank-you” message waiting in each volunteer’s in-box.
The days of too few or too many volunteers are a thing of the past with VolunteerHub. Ready to learn more? Click here for a tour.
Shawn Kendrick holds an MBA from Ohio Dominican University and has over a decade of experience in the nonprofit and business sectors. He enjoys researching and blogging for VolunteerHub, a cloud-based volunteer scheduling software application that offers online event registration, email and SMS (text) messaging, report generation, and much more.