Tracking volunteer information will ensure you can utilize the people who help your ministry when you need them.

Volunteer info: What’s important?

Practicing proper volunteer management will help ensure your ministry gets what's needed from volunteers. Without the help of volunteers, many ministries simply couldn't provide the services and programs they need to. Volunteers make the seemingly impossible actually happen. While organizations need to utilize volunteers to their fullest, they don't want anyone to feel like they're being taken advantage of. Through the utilization of volunteer management software, ministries can keep track of volunteers and use them to their full potential without burning out volunteers.  However, in order to do this, they need to keep the right information on file.

Contact information
If your ministry has nothing else, make sure it has a list of all volunteers' names and contact information. This will allow you to reach out to them when you need their help. Also, many nonprofits struggle with retaining volunteers. If you don't keep their contact information on file in an easy to use volunteer management system, there is little chance you'll have the ability to tap those volunteer resources in the future.

"Remember, volunteers have busy lives outside of the ministry."

Shift availability
Almost, but not quite, as important as contact information is availability. Volunteers have busy lives outside of the ministry. They can't always volunteer their time when you specifically need them. By keeping their preferred schedules on file and identifying other times when they are available, you can help give them the hours that they would like to work.

If your volunteer management system lacks availability information you may find yourself short staffed during an important event. Knowing that information in advance will allow you to plan ahead for important events so you can ask your volunteers to shift their schedules around so they can help the ministry when it really needs them.

Skills and teamwork information
According to Custom Development Solutions Inc., volunteers can help in a number of different areas within your organization. Because of this, you need to ensure you're keeping track of different people's skills. You don't want someone with the natural ability for working with people in a back room helping manage the ministry's finances. When you add personnel to the volunteer management database, be sure to add in what they would like to help with or what their skills are. This will ensure you're not using people in the wrong place. Also, make sure to update this information as needed. People develop new skills, and what they learned could help the ministry succeed. Talk with your volunteers on a regular basis to make sure they're utilized in the best way.