What is your organization’s end goal? A nonprofit, if asked this question, would likely say that the primary aim is to maximize the impact on those it serves.

Although this can be summed up in one succinct sentence, accomplishment of this goal is certainly a multi-faceted endeavor involving the intertwined strands of fundraising, volunteer management, and delivery of services.

In this post, we will focus on the volunteer management aspect of the equation by comparing best practices from hundreds of nonprofit organizations (including a study recently conducted by VolunteerHub).

Business in the Nonprofit World

Janna Finch, Marketing Research Associate at the consulting firm Software Advice, points out that an emphasis on the relationship between these three areas is even more of a focal point today. Why? Because donors, constituents, and even volunteers increasingly demand that nonprofits are more “businesslike.” These groups are asking for more data-driven, performance-based outcome measurements as opposed to financial ratios, such as overhead, to measure a nonprofit’s effectiveness. Along with this, Finch points out, “…As the amount of data a nonprofit needs in order to demonstrate impact increases, so does the need for a system to keep it organized.”

Finch’s firm recently conducted data analysis of 261 nonprofits and found a majority of them were still using spreadsheets or similar documents to manage volunteers. Sadly, many nonprofits have not transitioned to the best practice of using a dedicated electronic volunteer management solution. As a result, these organizations are at a disadvantage.

“Nonprofits that rely solely on spreadsheets and manual methods to track information miss out on the benefits of greater efficiency, streamlined processes, and time savings,” explains Finch.

It should come as no surprise that nonprofits with management software see an increase in their overall productivity. The benefits of such a system include:

  • Increasing the accuracy of information and uniting all volunteer data into one digital solution
  • Transitioning volunteer scheduling to a “self-serve,” 24/7-access approach
  • Eradicating multiple lists in various locations
  • Increasing efficiency of hour tracking
  • Communicating with volunteers through mass texts and emails

Efficient Volunteer Management

As alluded to, the subject of volunteer management was also the topic of a recent VolunteerHub study involving 151 nonprofits. In many ways, our data mirrors several of Software Advice’s conclusions. For example, our numbers reveal that 93 percent of organizations utilizing a volunteer system rate their volunteer programs as efficient, as opposed to only 51 percent of nonusers.

Efficiency data from nonprofits using volunteer management software:

volunteer management software users

Efficiency data from nonprofits not using volunteer management software:

volunteer management excel

Taken as a whole, 62 percent of the nonprofits surveyed by VolunteerHub rate their volunteer management processes as “moderately efficient.” Among those using an electronic system, that number rises to 70 percent. Another 17 percent of respondents felt their management processes were “highly efficient.” This number rises to 23 percent for those with an online management platform. Similarly, nonprofits rating their processes as “less than efficient” drops from 20 percent overall to 7 percent among those using an integrated electronic system.

Only seven percent of nonprofits that use documents deem their methods as highly efficient. Less than half of these nonprofits rate themselves as moderately efficient (44 percent), and an equal 44 percent report that their current systems are “less than efficient.”

VolunteerHub Users are Highly Efficient

Our research also shows that VolunteerHub provides a premium volunteer management experience, winning a 96 percent satisfaction rating. In fact, VolunteerHub users are more than twice as likely to be highly efficient (28 percent) when compared to users of other volunteer systems (13 percent).

Efficiency data of VolunteerHub customers:

volunteerhub volunteer software

Efficiency data of nonprofits using a different volunteer system (other than VolunteerHub):

volunteer software

Online Volunteer Management Must-Haves

What do nonprofits look for when shopping for volunteer management software? The top two features among all organizations surveyed are volunteer self-registration and online event calendars, followed closely by more advanced capabilities such as event-specific landing pages, automatic hour tracking, and report generation. Other features important to users are volunteer texting, a mobile user interface, Blackbaud integration, and virtual kiosk/on-site capabilities.

VolunteerHub’s 96 Percent Satisfaction Rating

Volunteer management automation allows nonprofits to get more done. This frees up time and staff to engage volunteers and provide better services to those who depend on the organization. Learn why VolunteerHub is the leading volunteer management software, with a 96 percent user satisfaction rating. CRM integration, event-specific entry pages, mobile device compatibility, and virtual kiosk are just a few reasons why our customers are among the most efficient and highly satisfied nonprofits.

Contact us today and see for yourself how the best practice of online volunteer management can help transform your volunteer program.

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