Event management software crucial to finding and retaining volunteers

Event management software offers nonprofit organizations the tools they need to prepare for fundraising events. It's no secret that a successful fundraiser comes together and ends well with the help of devoted volunteers. Here are several practices that nonprofits can implement to find the best volunteers.

Ask everywhere
Searching for volunteers to help with an event can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. According to a report compiled by the International Erosion Control Association titled "The Role of Volunteers in Not-For-Profit Organizations," diversifying recruitment tactics is the key to finding enough volunteers for a fundraiser.

Profiling active and past volunteers on the organization website is a great way to give future helpers an idea of what they are signing up for. Post an online form, email address, phone number or mailing address that people can contact regarding opportunities to help. Event management software helps with the organization of these volunteers, so the risk of missing out or losing anyone is the shuffle is eliminated.

This is also a great time to check in with new members who haven't been able to participate in an event yet. A fundraiser will give them an excellent idea of how the organization works.

Consider professionals
A fun idea for nonprofits with a specific or niche specialty in mind is to partner with business professionals on a pro bono basis. These partnerships typically work best with longer running fundraisers, according to The National Council of Nonprofits. Once a business offers its staff to volunteer for an event, maintain open lines of communication in the future to see if additional employees would like to participate.

Check backgrounds
Remember that volunteers will be viewed as representatives and advocates of the nonprofit. Making sure they are up for that duty is important to the safety and reputation of the organization. The National Council of Nonprofits encourages screening potential volunteers to better understand what they hope to get out of the experience.

If driving a car is a necessary part of the job, check accident and driving records to make sure there is nothing that may prevent them from performing this duty well.

Small does not mean insignificant
Though volunteers may initially feel they need to give a lot, letting them know that any amount of effort makes a different can ease their mind. The Nonprofit Times states that even small tasks help move the organization closer to its ultimate goal. Offering both small and large tasks that are meaningful opens the door to a wider variety of volunteers.

Think outside the toolbox
Making a list of all these short- and long-term tasks that need to happen before, during and after a fundraiser will certainly produce several items that occur completely off-site. Engaging with remote volunteers might be a possibility, thus giving people passionate about the cause a chance to contribute. Calling other volunteers, for example, or answering volunteer requests via email may be an option. Even helping organize and book a venue from afar seems like a small task, but can take pressure off the rest of the fundraising committee.

Give recognition
During the fundraising process, Blue Avocado recommends tracking how many hours volunteers spent contributing their services to the event and what departments required the most help. At the end of it all, showing the entire community what the volunteers accomplished will give everyone an idea of the resources, energy and compassion that went into the event. 

Event management software is essential to not only organizing the fundraiser, but finding and retaining volunteers to make it happen again and again. Plus, being able to store volunteer information makes sending a big thank you after all is said and done much easier.