Choosing a volunteer management system is one of the most important technology decisions your nonprofit can make. The right platform can highlight your mission while organizing and tracking volunteer data, improving recruitment efforts, and streamlining communication.
In this blog post, you’ll learn five tips for selecting a volunteer management system to meet your nonprofit’s needs.
#1: Do Your Homework
It may seem obvious, but you might be surprised by how little research some people do when evaluating volunteer management systems. Often, it’s simply because they just aren’t sure where to start.
What features do we actually need? Is there a way to automate cumbersome administrative tasks? Does the platform offer streamlined communication with volunteers? Will it integrate with our CRM?
Savvy nonprofits invest time into the process by attending online demonstrations and downloading informative studies. This can be a great way to gain an understanding of software capabilities – as well as developing your organization’s own needs.
It’s also useful to reach out to colleagues at other nonprofits and learn which systems they use (and how satisfied they are with those systems). A personal referral can go a long way and save hours of research.
#2: Understand Your Needs
After doing some research, compare your nonprofit’s needs to the available feature set. Do the platforms you’re considering have the capacity to grow with your organization?
For example, VolunteerHub offers a spectrum of features at different plan levels based on the number of volunteers in the organization and necessary functionality. This keeps the platform very affordable for smaller nonprofits, while offering more features as your organization grows. When it’s time to upgrade, VolunteerHub can easily accommodate your ever-increasing needs.
#3: Seek Out Integrated Solutions
Integrated solutions keep your data in sync, saving time and money. CRM integration is one way that VolunteerHub can help. Connecting volunteer and donor information helps organizations run more smoothly by eliminating the need for unnecessary manual efforts. Seek out solutions that help your organization become more integrated and organized. Converting volunteers to donors (and vice versa) can pay significant dividends for your organization.
#4: Give Preference to Automated Solutions
Your staff is already overworked. A new volunteer system should lighten the workload, not compound the issue. It’s therefore important to select a solution that offers an automated approach to volunteer management, including volunteer self-registration and streamlined communication.
Volunteer self-registration helps your volunteers feel invested in the organization from the second they complete the registration process. You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you have the correct spelling of a name or the most recent address. Each volunteer has the ability to edit his or her information simply by logging in. In fact, VolunteerHub regularly prompts volunteers to update their own information, which then automatically syncs with your CRM. No manual data entry required.
Automated communication is equally important, especially for making volunteers feel welcomed and appreciated. A system like VolunteerHub can automatically send volunteers confirmation messages once they register for an event. These automated messages can also include information about the event, such as directions to the site and recommended attire. Sending thank-you messages is also a nice way to keep volunteers engaged – and coming back in the future.
#5: Look for Configurable Systems
Search for a volunteer management system that offers configurable branding. This allows you to make sure that all communication from your nonprofit is consistently branded and creates a streamlined experience for volunteers.
Landing pages, offered exclusively by VolunteerHub, open up countless opportunities to engage volunteers. Such pages can be uniquely branded to reach a specific audience and can be created for any event or niche in your organization.
In addition, seek out a system that automatically customizes event notifications and reminders with volunteer information. For example, VolunteerHub automatically inserts your volunteer’s name into the body of system-generated emails, making it feel much more personalized.
Find Out If VolunteerHub is Right for Your Organization
Ready to see what VolunteerHub can do for your organization? Schedule a demo to see our tool in action today.