In addition to fundraising, donation software can help nonprofits cultivate the backbone of their operations: Those who give their time to the cause. Volunteer stewardship and retention is just as important as donor engagement.
Personal connection goes hand in hand with carrying out the mission of a charitable organization. Management tools can help nonprofits establish a bond with volunteers, recognizing individual talents and contributions.
Here are some tips for constructing an optimal volunteer dynamic:
Recruit the right people
In addition to facilitating retention, paying attention to supporters' interests and abilities can help in recruiting volunteers most suited to an organization's goals. A donor management database is a great tool for recording volunteer feedback. The information gathered can help nonprofit coordinators most efficiently delegate responsibility while maintaining volunteer satisfaction, according to Tech Impact.
There's a purpose to passion
Nonprofit Hub underscored the importance of seeking volunteers with specific skill sets, a good strategy for reducing training time, outsourcing work overflow and building functional operations. Doing so gives volunteers the chance to utilize their talents.
What better way to keep them from burnout or boredom than asking them to take on tasks for which they already have a passion? This applies especially to those who want to engage in work that feels more meaningful than what they do during the 9-to-5 hours.
"Volunteers want to utilize their talents."
There are also those who are between jobs and look to volunteer work as a means of maintaining their skills and sharpening their resumes. The point is that individuals are likelier to give time to a mutually beneficial relationship. Donor management software can aid that symbiosis by highlighting matching volunteer talents to the organization's needs.
As a bonus, a conversation about the variety of skills is a fantastic way to prompt engagement during board meetings. Perhaps a member of the board has something in common with a volunteer. Maybe mention of a surprisingly useful skill offers representatives a fresh way of thinking about the charitable mission. Piquing interest and sparking dialogue lend momentum to the cause.
It's all about recognition
Volunteers are making a personal investment in a charity's mission, and an organization should reciprocate that investment. Publicly recognizing the unique gifts offered by volunteers makes the nonprofit's work more satisfying for everyone involved, said nonprofit management expert Lincoln Arneal.
Whether giving gratitude through informal conversation or spotlighting individuals in website profiles, volunteers are likelier to stick around when they don't feel invisible.
Nonprofits should be careful not to overlook an online volunteer base, said The Nonprofit Times. Volunteer coordinators can take the time to reach out with individual getting-to-know-you emails. Even better, scheduling an occasional picnic or other get-together allows a connection of names to faces, while rewarding behind-the-scenes work.
Establishing relationships with volunteers and creating positive, long-term engagement with the mission is made all the easier with donation software platforms.