“VolunteerHub has simplified every aspect of our volunteer management. Now, when people want to volunteer, they just go to our website. With one click, a volunteer can see all of the upcoming opportunities, register for an event that is appealing…and own it.” ~Barbara Massar, Executive Director of Pro Portsmouth, Inc.
For Barbara Massar of Pro Portsmouth, Inc., an event-focused nonprofit in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, managing volunteers hasn’t always been this easy. In fact, for many years, quite the opposite was true.
Founded in 1977 with the mission to celebrate Portsmouth’s recently renovated downtown area, Pro Portsmouth relies heavily on volunteers. The organization hosts a number of events each year, each of which aims to engage the community and build synergy through a festive format.
The organization’s major annual event, Market Square Day, hosts over 60,000 participants. To successfully manage this type of event, hundreds of well-trained and organized volunteers are necessary.
“Our volunteers do virtually everything. From setting up tents to selling beverages to doing sound checks for bands, Market Square Day requires a lot of helpers with a variety of skills,” said Barbara.
VolunteerHub’s Immediate Impact
Before Pro Portsmouth discovered VolunteerHub in 2010, the organization relied on a number of labor-intensive processes to engage (or re-engage) volunteers.
“Before VolunteerHub, we would ask local businesses to let us use their phones so that we could call prospective volunteers. The calling rarely delivered enough volunteers, so then we had to mail out letters. Postage costs can add up, especially for a nonprofit like us,” recalled Ms. Massar.
After realizing the true cost of manually soliciting volunteers, Pro Portsmouth made the decision to seek out a better option. A few Google searches later, Barbara learned about VolunteerHub, a cloud-based volunteer management software application designed specifically for nonprofits.
The organization purchased VolunteerHub and quickly realized the system’s potential. “VolunteerHub lets us tailor the content to each specific event. In addition, we’re able to ask volunteers about their skills and abilities, which helps us match them to appropriate opportunities,” said Barbara.
Rapid Adoption Curve
The Pro Portsmouth team attributes the successful implementation of VolunteerHub to excellent training and support. “Our staff and volunteers were initially a little reluctant to the new system. However, VolunteerHub is so intuitive that even our older volunteers are very comfortable using it,” said Ms. Massar.
To contrast the days of setting up phone banks and manually sending out direct mailers, the organization now utilizes VolunteerHub’s recurring events feature. This has allowed Pro Portsmouth to put much of the administrative work on autopilot, freeing up staff to engage with volunteers.
By centralizing all volunteer management activities and information into VolunteerHub, the organization now has greater visibility and accountability. With a few clicks, event managers are able to email volunteers, saving significant resources compared to the cost of direct mail.
Add it all up, and Pro Portsmouth is able to run better events, get more done, and save money in the process – thanks in large part to VolunteerHub.
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