VolunteerHub has played an important role in Habitat for Humanity of Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg’s volunteer program. We had an opportunity to interview Habitat’s Mimi Mitchell, Director of Community/Volunteer Engagement. Here is what she had to say.
What is your role at Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg?
Mimi says: I have been with habitat for over 5 years and am currently serving as the director of volunteer engagement. I started as the organization’s volunteer coordinator but my position has greatly grown, over the last few years. In my current role, I am in charge of all of our volunteer projects, which includes everything from scheduling, managing, and checking in volunteers to advocacy and youth engagement. We use VolunteerHub extensively in my department.
What is Habitat for Humanity’s mission?
Mimi says: Habitat brings people together to build homes, community, and hope. We do that by being a nonprofit builder with our first-time homebuyer program. We build homes in partnership with families and provide them with the tools they need to be successful homeowners, long-term. Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg also has two ReStore locations (Newport, Williamsburg), where we accept donations and provide the community with affordable home improvement products.
How many families has Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg impacted?
Mimi says: Between repairs to existing homes and building new homes, our organization has impacted over 500 families.
How many volunteers does your organization recruit each year?
Mimi says: Prior to COVID-19, we recruited between 1000-3000 volunteers per year for our repair and home building programs. Our ReStore initiatives utilize the support of somewhere between 5000-8000 additional volunteers per year. COVID-19 has greatly impacted how many volunteers we can recruit, but they are still a key component of our programs and will continue to be.
How has COVID-19 impacted the way your organization manages volunteers?
Mimi says: COVID-19 has changed the way we do some of our volunteer work. Currently, we are only recruiting regular volunteers (more than 8 hours a month). In addition to that, we require all volunteers to wear masks and take temperatures before shifts. We have used VolunteerHub to create a waiver, specific to COVID-19, and require volunteers to sign it and be preregistered, prior to fulfilling an opportunity. Finally, we are practicing social distancing during all volunteer shifts.
How did your journey with VolunteerHub begin?
Mimi says: We have been using VolunteerHub for a very long time. When I became part of the team, 6 years ago, we were using VolunteerHub. That said, I don’t think we were using VolunteerHub as heavily as we are now, early on. I saw the potential of VolunteerHub and wanted to make sure I evolved it as part of our process. Our use of VolunteerHub has grown over the years and is a crucial component of all of our programs now including home building, home repairs, and ReStore locations.
What features of VolunteerHub do you find the most valuable?
Mimi says: VolunteerHub provides many features that are valuable! Being able to create landing pages and filter volunteers by organization is a huge feature for our program because we work with many corporate groups. Another valuable feature is the recurrence master. With VolunteerHub, I have the ability to create a master opportunity and then input all the instances, eliminating redundancy. Finally, we recently upgraded our VolunteerHub plan to include Kiosk and OnSite to automate our volunteer check-in process at our ReStore locations. The upgrade has been a Godsend for our program and volunteers.
A few other, notable, features for our program include reporting, user groups, and advanced waivers.
What features of VolunteerHub have become increasingly valuable amid COVID-19?
Mimi says: The flexibility and reporting features of VolunteerHub stand out as a valuable feature amid COVID-19. I am quickly able to access information about our program, whenever and wherever I am. This has become increasingly valuable because I am working from home and have access to volunteer data via my internet connection. I absolutely love how easy it is to access VolunteerHub. There have been many instances where I needed to access volunteer data, on job sites, and was able to pull up VolunteerHub on my phone to access the information I needed. The software truly is indispensable.
What would you say to other Habitat for Humanity affiliates not using a volunteer management solution?
Mimi says: I recently went to a Habitat for Humanity conference and was asked what the best volunteer management solution was. Without hesitation, I said VolunteerHub. VolunteerHub is user-friendly, support is outstanding, and the features are industry-leading. I would encourage any organization that is not using volunteer management software to do their research and consider VolunteerHub.
Ready to transform your organization’s volunteer program?
Habitat for Humanity Peninsula and Greater Williamsburg is a great example of how the right volunteer software can make all the difference to accomplishing a mission.