Volunteer management software can help skyrocket volunteer retention rates.
With volunteer retention rates on the decline, there has never been a more important time to deploy strategies and invest in technology to keep supporters coming back. According to a U.S. Labor of Statistic’s study, volunteerism has declined 1.9% between 2011 and 2016. The decrease may seem small, but it is substantial when you consider the metric is measuring volunteer activity across the entire United States. Volunteer retention rates have also been impacted. The good news is technology is providing solutions for nonprofits to streamline processes.
Volunteer software can offer nonprofits the tools they need to manage, engage, recruit, and retain valuable volunteer contacts. With the value of a volunteer hour increasing to over $24.00 nonprofits cannot afford outdated retention processes with limited results. Nonprofits that invest in volunteer management software are often surprised at how the technology impacts their volunteer program as a whole.
Here are 5 ways that organizations can retain volunteers and how volunteer management software can assist in the process.
1. Respond to Volunteers Quickly
Nonprofits that respond quickly and efficiently to volunteers are more likely to retain them. Communication is crucial to running a successful volunteer program. Effective communication presents organizations an opportunity to remind registered volunteers, thank supporters, and introduce people to new roles and opportunities. The problem that many organizations face is that communication takes time. 80% of nonprofits say lack of time is their most limiting factor.
Volunteer management software is streamlining the volunteer communication process for many organizations and reducing the time investment required for volunteer communication. We have the case studies to prove it! Volunteer management software, like VolunteerHub, make it possible to create automated and customized notifications (email, text, social) that can be quickly sent to a volunteer contact.
2. Utilize a Volunteer Database
A volunteer database can be an instrumental tool for nonprofits wanting to get the most out of their volunteers. An accurate database can provide organizations with detailed information about past and current supporters. This information can be used to match volunteers to opportunities, track fulfillment, and identify appropriate contact information. Accurately maintaining a database can have a positive impact on volunteer retention rates. Nonprofits that use a manual process for record keeping are missing out on the ability to identify trends, send quick notifications, and organize volunteers based on demographics.
Learn more about VolunteerHub’s volunteer database software
3. Show Appreciation…Regularly 😀
Volunteers today need to feel appreciated. Appreciation can go a long way in impacting volunteer retention rates. Relying heavily on the goodwill of volunteers without providing them incentives to continue to give is a sure way to lose supporters over time. Volunteers provide their time because they believe in an organizations cause. Nonprofits can reinforce this belief by investing in the happiness of their volunteer contacts.
One of the best ways to show volunteers appreciation is by integrating a rewards and recognition strategy directly into a volunteer program.
VolunteerHub allows nonprofits to design the reward and recognition program that will have the biggest impact on their goals and mission attainment. Administrators can track and edit recognition directly from VolunteerHub’s user interface.
Learn more about VolunteerHub’s volunteer reward and recognition feature
4. Focus on Flexibility
Most people today have extremely hectic schedules. 90% of people in the United States want to volunteer and only 25% do. The biggest reason for this according to research is the lack of free time. Nonprofits that want to retain volunteers longterm need to have a process for recruitment, training, and support that is convenient and efficient.
Volunteer management software, like VolunteerHub, is providing nonprofits access to feature sets that promote flexibility. Organizations using VolunteerHub can create event landing pages, promote online volunteer scheduling, and capture volunteer data effortlessly. The reduction of time necessary for supporters to sign up for opportunities eliminates barriers and constraints.
5. Build Personal Relationships
Last but not least is arguably the most important way to increase volunteer retention rates. Volunteers desire a personal relationship with the organization they commit time to. Building relationships take a time commitment. As mentioned earlier, nonprofits today have time restraints that can eliminate their ability to build personal relationships with volunteers.
Learn more about how VolunteerHub is helping nonprofits focus on relationships.