Is your organization considering the purchase of an online volunteer management system?
If so, you’re not alone. Many nonprofits are realizing the benefits of automating tasks such as volunteer scheduling, text messages, and reminders. From a “management” aspect, it’s basically a no-brainer.
However, nonprofits sometimes worry that such systems will alienate older volunteers. Administrators know that younger volunteers voraciously rely on the Internet and their smartphones. But what about older volunteers?
Don’t underestimate your older volunteers’ technological aptitude. Here’s why.
You May Be Surprised
Contrary to what might be popular belief, seniors are embracing technology. Study after study has shown that more seniors are embracing smartphones, tablets, and social media.
Anecdotally, we find that many older adult volunteers enjoy using VolunteerHub. The system has been designed to have a very gentle learning curve that allows volunteers to sign up within just a few minutes. With a few clicks, volunteers can begin viewing and registering for events. It’s fast, convenient, and allows seniors to choose volunteer opportunities that fit their schedules, abilities, and interests.
Exceptions to the Rule
No matter how savvy any generation becomes, there will always be a few who are uncomfortable with online event registration. So, for the few volunteers that don’t want to touch a computer, VolunteerHub can still prove to be useful.
There are a couple ways this situation can be handled. For example, Mr. Smith calls to say he wants to volunteer. The volunteer coordinator can manually enter his information and register him for an event via the phone. Or, perhaps Mr. Smith shows up at an event to volunteer without registering. VolunteerHub’s OnSite App can take care of that, too. The event manager simply creates Mr. Smith’s account on a smartphone or tablet in VolunteerHub, and Mr. Smith is logged in as one of the event attendees. Once his profile is set up, future events for which Mr. Smith wants to volunteer is a breeze to handle. Event managers follow a similar process by opening the OnSite app, searching for Mr. Smith’s account, and checking him in.
Online Can Be Golden for Older Volunteers
Online systems are a win for both the volunteer and your management team. You’ll find that volunteers of all ages will happily adopt a new and better way of coordinating events. Realistically, there will be a handful of volunteers, however, that will resist the technology, but those can be handled in stride by event coordinators either in the office or in the field.
If your organization has been thinking about a volunteer management system, put your worries aside. Statistics show that a majority of your senior volunteers are probably using the internet in a variety of ways, and they may be wondering why your nonprofit isn’t taking full advantage of the internet’s capabilities, too.