These 5 volunteer coordination tips can help your organization make the best use of your volunteers time.
Training and recruiting individuals to become effective volunteer coordinators is one of the most important things your nonprofit can do. Volunteer coordinators help a nonprofit identify the right volunteers for a specific job and can keep a nonprofits volunteer coordination strategy on track. Volunteer coordinators are the primary point of contact and gatekeeper between volunteers and your nonprofit organization.
Your nonprofit volunteer coordinators should excel at communication and be able to adjust their communication style depending on the types of individuals they are communicating with. Without effective communication, none of the below strategies will produce results.
Communication is the most important variable in the success of your volunteer coordination campaigns. Here are five great tips to take your volunteer coordination efforts further (after you have mastered personal communication skills!).
Be Flexible with Volunteers but Not too Flexible
If you want to keep volunteers engaged with your nonprofit organization it is important to incorporate flexibility into your volunteer coordination efforts. Keep in mind, there is a fine line between being flexible and to flexible. Your nonprofit needs to create a strategy for acceptable flexibility vs unacceptable flexibility.
The last thing your nonprofit organization wants is volunteers feeling as though they can call off or not show up to the opportunities that they have signed up for.
You need to establish boundaries with your volunteers. The best way to achieve this goal is to be transparent. Let your volunteers know which opportunities offer flexibility and be open about your organization’s volunteer expectations. Doing so will help your organization reduce “no shows” and vet out volunteers with bad attendance habits.
Create a Rewards Program to Make Volunteerism Fun
Volunteering should be a fun experience for your organization’s volunteers. Creating a volunteer rewards program is a great way to add a little friendly competition to your volunteer coordination strategy and push volunteers to excel in their roles.
A volunteer rewards and recognition program can also challenge volunteers to register for more opportunities with your organization. Create a point system and allow your volunteers to use their points to redeem prizes. The more points your volunteers have the better the prizes become. This is a great way to increase engagement and retain volunteers for a long period of time.
Leverage Your Existing Volunteer Pool for New Opportunities
Do not make the mistake of focusing all your efforts on recruiting new volunteers. Your organization needs to nurture your existing volunteer base. Your existing volunteer base is full of individuals who have already expressed interest in your organization’s mission, values, and goals.
Leveraging your existing volunteer pool starts with communication. Communicate often and push your pool to register for new volunteer opportunities or upcoming events. Making the process of registering for new opportunities easier can also impact your volunteer coordination efforts.
Allow volunteers to quickly and easily register for opportunities and events online.
Organized Efforts Can Make a Huge Difference
Keeping your volunteer coordination data organized can help push your campaigns toward success. If volunteer data is organized successfully it can be leveraged in the future to understand volunteer patterns, convert volunteers to donors, and help identify the right volunteers to the right opportunities.
Make sure that you are taking full advantage of the volunteer data your organization is capturing to optimize your efforts. Volunteers also want to make sure your organization is organized before they become champions of your cause.
Depict an organized and well-established organization from the first moment they interact with you.
Practice What You Preach
It is key that your organization and all of the nonprofits stakeholders practice what they preach. Volunteers and volunteer prospects are constantly looking for affirmation that your organization is on track in achieving its mission.
Make sure that the goals and guidelines that you set for volunteers and your volunteer management system as a whole are being followed organization-wide. This will help to create trust with your volunteers and drive individual’s closer to become brand advocates for your nonprofit in the future.
It takes a very special person to be successful in the role of Volunteer Coordinator. An individual pursuing a volunteer coordination career needs to excel at communication.
Communication is the key to almost all aspects of volunteer coordinating. Make sure that your nonprofit is flexible with volunteers but not too flexible, is creating a fun volunteer experience with the help of rewards, keeps leveraging your existing volunteer pool to fill opportunities in an organized manner, and is practicing what you preach.