As the value of volunteerism continues to rise (>$25.00 an hour), the need for strategic volunteer management is becoming increasingly crucial.
Volunteerism is a foundational component for almost all organizations in the nonprofit industry. Volunteers provide nonprofits with their time in exchange for the opportunity to make a difference within their community. Many nonprofits rely on more volunteers than paid staff, to provide the sweat equity that they need to achieve goals and reach mission. I think most nonprofits would agree with me when I say that they would be unable to make an impact without the dedication of volunteers and the gift of time. The importance of volunteers, and the value that they provide nonprofits, has increased the need to strategically engage, recruit, and manage them.
Volunteer management is important in 2020 because it provides the all-in-one solution that nonprofit organizations need to organize, promote, and communicate their volunteer program and objectives to supporters within the community. The functionality of volunteer management software, and its benefits to nonprofits, also continues to grow as new features and optimizations are made based on technology. Below are three of the top reasons why strategic volunteer management is an important component of an organization’s volunteer program and can help promote growth.
Time Management Creates Value
An unorganized or out-of-date process for managing volunteers can use up a lot of time, quickly. Most volunteer coordinators have limited time, a lot of responsibility, and many relationships to manage over the course of a given day. For volunteer coordinators, saving time is one of the most important ROI of deploying a strategic volunteer management process. Some nonprofits have saved hundreds of hours a year, in administration time, by investing in a volunteer management solution to support their volunteer program and staff.
Strategic volunteer management can reduce administrative time in a variety of ways. First, organizations can run reports, much easier, when data is organized, deduped, and optimized for decision-making. Second, an efficient volunteer management process makes communication, based on each individual volunteer, more streamlined. Organizations can use supporting software, like VolunteerHub, to quickly group volunteers and communicate holistically vs on an individual basis. Volunteer management solutions make it possible to communicate with a large group in a personalized way (based on set criteria).
Third, a strategic volunteer management process can save an organization time by allowing volunteers to self-manage their accounts and access the data they need about their volunteerism experience and hours provided to an organization.
Strategic volunteer management is important because it can save an organization time. Administration hours add up and hours that could be spent pushing a program forward are diluted. Besides the hour savings to a nonprofit directly, a strategic volunteer process can also save volunteers time, increase engagement, and provide supporters with incentives to give. I will cover those benefits next.
Online Registration is Expected
Today’s volunteers expect an easy registration process that is quickly accessible. With technology being at the forefront of the modern era, registration should be available online. An online registration process provides both volunteer and nonprofit benefits. Volunteers can quickly view and register for opportunities via any device that connects to the internet, and nonprofits can track volunteer behavior via reports. An online registration process also eliminates the need for paper applications and the error-prone paper trail that a manual process creates. Investing in a volunteer management solution that provides online registration is one way that an organization can modernize their program, increase efficiency, and prompt volunteers to continue to give.
Data Should Drive Decisions
In 2020, data should be the driving force behind a nonprofit’s decision-making process. Data can provide an organization with information about volunteers, donors, prospects, and the relationship between them. Volunteer management software makes it easy to run reports and understand how volunteers are interacting with an organization and its program. This data allows a nonprofit to optimize their process, strategy and positioning in the market. According to Google, highly data-driven organizations are 3X more likely to report significant improvements in their decision-making capabilities.
Strategic volunteer management is incredibly important in 2020 because of its ability to save an organization time, make registration easier, and provide data points that can be used to make better decisions.
Is your organization considering a volunteer management solution? Here are 7 tips for reviewing your nonprofits volunteer program.