As the value of volunteerism continues to rise (estimated to be $28.54 an hour), the need for strategic volunteer management is becoming increasingly crucial. Here is why volunteer management is important in 2021.
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 their mission. I think most nonprofits would agree 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, has increased the need to strategically engage, recruit, and manage them.
Volunteer management is important in 2021 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 volunteer behavior, such as a demand for remote volunteer opportunities post COVID-19. Below are three of the top reasons why strategic volunteer management is an important component of executing a successful volunteer program.
Saving Time 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An unorganized or out-of-date process for managing volunteers can use up a lot of time, quickly.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 ROIs 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, accurate, 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 by Volunteers
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 its program and increase efficiency.
Data Should Drive Decisions
In 2021, data should be the driving force behind a nonprofit’s decision-making process. Data can provide an organization’s staff with information about their volunteer program and allow them to take steps to optimize it. Volunteer management software makes it easy to run reports and understand how volunteers are interacting with an organization and its program. This data allows an organization to optimize its 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.
Shift to Remote Opportunities
Post COVID-19, many organizations have shifted to offering remote volunteer opportunities. For organizations making this shift, volunteer management software can help keep volunteers organized, updated on new opportunities, and provide them with an easy way to register.
Volunteer management is incredibly important in 2021 because of its ability to save an organization time, make registration easier, and improve decision-making.
Is your organization considering a volunteer management solution? Here are 7 tips for reviewing your nonprofit’s volunteer program.