Volunteer Management

Improving volunteer relationships with nonprofits

Volunteer management software can improve operations at ministry nonprofits. Constituents who donate their time and energy to an organization not only deserve appreciation, they require motivation, feedback and training. Implementing volunteer management software provides charities with the resources they need to treat volunteers well.

Motivate and inspire
Retaining volunteers over time is possible with motivation and appreciation. They need to be inspired to continue giving their time and know that they are making a difference. Find out why people are volunteering at the organization. The Christian Reformed Church in North America stated that determining the reasons behind a volunteer’s participation is the key to understanding how to keep him or her coming back and reaching out to new faces. If the answers to this question surprise nonprofit leadership, find out what can be done to get in touch with more contributors and learn about their desires. Leaders should always be aware of what moves their constituents.

Provide great training
The best way to equip volunteers for success is with a thorough training program. Especially at the onset of a new project or the first time a volunteer attends an event, he or she will need to know exactly how to fulfill his or her duties successfully. Don’t set them up for failure; partner them with experienced volunteers or give them a manual ahead of time outlining their tasks.

Learn about volunteers and their goals to encourage them to come back again and again.

Give great feedback
One of the top methods organizations can use to motivate their volunteers is positive feedback. Volunteer Power advised nonprofits to track who works at which events and provide comments and encouragement regularly. Send personal messages and hand-written thank-you notes whenever possible, as this sends a stronger message than an email blast. In addition, share the results of their hard work with them. Volunteers will only continue giving their time if they know it’s having an impact on the causes they care about most. Share success stories and try to be as specific as possible. Again, look at the list of volunteers for a particular event and let those people know how the project turned out when all is said and done.

Trust volunteers to handle the work they are given. Avoid dolling out seemingly meaningless tasks; if a mundane activity is necessary to the fluid execution of a fundraiser, let the volunteer know exactly what his or her actions work toward. There has got to be a sense of reward and dignity behind the work.

Recognize the hard work that volunteers put in each year. Some organizations host an annual banquet honoring all the volunteers from every arena, whether they donated money, put up fliers, built homes or provided transportation for staff. However, make sure any form of appreciation is not trivial. Volunteers are not giving their time and energy to a cause expecting gift cards in return.

Implementing volunteer management software solutions will help nonprofits better track their helpers and ensure a meaningful relationship with each.