Take a look at these two definitions from the Merriam-Webster dictionary:
Management: “…the conducting or supervising of something”
Engagement: “…emotional involvement or commitment”
Now, think about your organization. When it comes to your volunteers, are you simply managing them? Wouldn’t you prefer to have them more engaged in your organization and its mission?
Below we offer three volunteer coordinator tips to help further their efforts in making connections with their volunteers.
1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When it comes to advertising your volunteer opportunities, you have several options. While social media and printed newsletters are logical solutions, make sure that emails and texts are still your primary communication methods.
Volunteers who are Baby Boomer age or older may prefer receiving emails. However, in today’s cellular society, over 80 percent of smartphone owners use their devices to send and receive text messages. Since the majority of US adults now own cell phones, texting volunteers can be a great way to interact. Here’s more information about how to text your volunteers.
Also remember that communication takes persistence and a consistent flow of information. Taking a page from the for-profit world, make sure that you have reasonable expectations for the response rate of your audience. The rule of thumb from marketers is that it can take up to three “touches” before a motivated prospect responds.
2: Empower Your Volunteers
Some volunteers enjoy sharing the skills they use during their day job. Others want a change of pace to relax or pursue new skills. Instead of assigning volunteers to jobs, why not let them choose what catches their interest?
The best way to do this is to think digitally. A reliable online volunteer management system allows supporters to view all available volunteer opportunities. In addition, volunteers can self-register from any computer or mobile device, 24/7. Of course, this type of registration process also saves valuable time for you as a volunteer coordinator. Learn more about volunteer automation.
3: Personalize the Volunteer Experience
A recent study shows that simply acknowledging a person’s name allows you to connect with that individual on a deeper level. Use this to leverage your connection with volunteers:
- Introduce yourself to new volunteers and take a few minutes to learn more about them when time allows. Jot down pertinent information.
- Go the extra mile in your communication to personalize event reminder and thank you messages.
- Review your volunteer roster the day of the event. Refer to previous notes for repeat volunteers to personalize your conversations.
- Use each volunteer’s name when checking in and provide a nametag.
So what makes a winning combination? Start with consistent communication, offer volunteers an intuitive self-scheduling system, and maintain a personalized touch.