Preble Street is using VolunteerHub to collect accurate data, engage with volunteers, improve communication and reduce registration time.
Preble Street is a nonprofit on a mission to provide accessible barrier-free services that empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty. The organization, based out of Portland, ME, offers several programs to the community including a resource center, housing services, teen services, advocacy and food programs.
In 2017, Preble Street positively impacted the community in a variety of ways including:
- Provided 85 chronically homeless people with stable housing in Housing First facilities.
- Helped 124 clients gain employment through the Resource Center.
- Assisted with the medical needs of 474 clients to improve overall health and save lives at the Preble Street-Maine Medical Center Learning Collaborative.
- Served approximately 600,000 emergency meals from a network of 3 soup kitchens and a food pantry.
- Provided 250+ homeless youths with shelter and services.
- Helped 400+ veteran households.
Preble Street would not be able to make an impact on the community without the help and commitment of volunteers. The organization utilizes the help of approximately 6,000 volunteers per year, representing 16,000 volunteer shifts to support their programs and fulfill their mission. Volunteer Hub will allow us to track the hours that represents as well as trends to anticipate and prepare for down cycles and to report accurately the value of volunteers to funders and the broader community.
Preble Street volunteers fill a variety of important roles including office support, preparing meals, food distribution, sorting donations, fundraising, organizing and facilitating workshops, and advocacy. Volunteerism is such a key component of success for Preble Street that engaging and retaining supporters are a top priority.
” Volunteer engagement is crucial to our organization. We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our volunteer-base. VolunteerHub is allowing us to free up the necessary time to concentrate on better engagement strategies,” said Melanie McKean, Development Director
The Desire to Cultivate Volunteers and Potential Volunteers
Prior to pursuing a volunteer management solution Preble Street used a highly manual process for managing supporters. Their process involved using Google calendars, coordinating via email, and a high volume of phone calls. The process ate up most of the volunteer manager’s time and resources and did not allow the managers to focus on deploying engagement strategies, to optimize efficiencies, to track accurate volunteer data, or to facilitate further engagement.
The organization knew there had to be a better way of conserving their manager’s time in an effort to push their program forward, better support volunteer activities, and cultivate deeper relationships to the agency.
“The time commitment necessary to schedule volunteers was eating up all of our manager’s time. We needed a solution to increase efficiency and better support volunteers. We also needed to improve our process and organization of volunteer data.” said Melanie McKean, Development Director
VolunteerHub’s Integration with Raiser’s Edge Offered the Most Viable Solution
When vetting volunteer management software, integration capabilities with Raiser’s Edge was at the top of Preble Street’s list of desired capabilities. They wanted a solution that would allow for their volunteer activity and relationships to be recorded and reported to help show donor affinity and provide data for prospect research and solicitors.
VolunteerHub’s integration functionality and feature set made the software selection process easier for Preble Street and is helping them bridge the gap between volunteer and donor data today.
“VolunteerHub’s Integration with Raiser’s Edge was one of the key decision-making factors when our organization was considering volunteer management solutions and which software to pursue,” said Melanie McKean, Development Director
Features that Provide Real Volunteer Program Improvements
Preble Street is utilizing VolunteerHub to make several key improvements to their volunteer program. First, they have implemented the virtual kiosk feature in their soup kitchens to streamline the opportunity fulfillment and registration process for volunteers and coordinators.
Second, they are using VolunteerHub’s landing page feature to speed up their recruitment process.
Finally, the communication and notification feature in VolunteerHub is helping to improve communication with supporters and fill shifts quickly while reducing unnecessary time-restraints on staff. These features in conjunction with VolunteerHub’s Raiser’s Edge integration are improving Preble Streets efficiency and optimizing multi-faceted connections one volunteer and donor at a time.
“Our volunteer manager’s time has been able to significantly increase cultivation and recruitment strategies rather than spending such an enormous amount of time on scheduling volunteers,” said Melanie McKean, Development Director
To learn more about Preble Street and their current volunteer opportunities visit: https://www.preblestreet.org/you-can-help/volunteer/