An introduction to volunteer management
Volunteer management refers to managing volunteer resources efficiently. There are a number of different tools available to help you accomplish this. Within volunteer organisations, we strongly believe that management is the glue that helps to ensure that voluntary work is coordinated in a coherent manner. Therefore, volunteer management involves managing volunteer resources in such a way that makes sense for the volunteers as well as the organisation. There are numerous versions and definitions of comprehensive approaches to volunteer management. What inspires us is the international literature focusing on volunteer management as a type of strategy for coordinating volunteer resources.
In today’s crowded marketplace, charities must compete for volunteers, and it is also becoming increasingly important to retain them. Our clients are increasingly looking to improve their management as well as to measure the impact that volunteering is making, due to social, financial, and political influences. Charities must compete for volunteers, while individuals and corporations are searching for attractive volunteer opportunities.
There are more than 1.4 million volunteering opportunities represented by 47,000 organisations. With all of this momentum, organisations are coming under increasing pressure to make sure their volunteer management is right, in order to attract and also retain volunteers over the long term MJ Plumridge provide training.
The following are our Best Tips for how to attract volunteers
Provide adequate information and respond to expressions of interest right away. A national survey showed that 36% of prospective volunteers have experienced barriers to being able to volunteer due to a lack of understanding and clarity of the role as well as their applications not receiving a response.
Obtain an understanding of what a volunteer wants to receive from the experience and what additional things they might be able to contribute to your organisation to make sure a positive relationship is created.
Explain to the volunteer how their role will contribute positive outcomes for the beneficiaries, the community, or the charity.
Make your role as attractive as possible. Include photos showing volunteers in action; provide volunteers with clear job titles; and explain what the beneficial outcomes of their roles are.
Mobile Accessibility. Be sure to advertise your volunteer opportunities on mobile accessible devices or websites since more than 50% of potential volunteers use mobile now instead of using a computer.
Tips for how to manage volunteers:
Obtain independent guidance in order to benchmark and assess your processes to compare with best practice indicators that are detailed in the Investing in Volunteers standard.
Provide your volunteers with adequate support either through giving them access to your support advisers or via a peer to peer community. Assist volunteers with accessing knowledge to provide them with the confidence they need for achieving their role.
Recognise volunteer achievements, including outstanding outcomes and achievements, number of hours they have contributed, and qualifications they have gained.
Improve team coordination and efficiency by making an investment in a CRM solution to help manage and track volunteer information starting with the application to delivery and the final outcome. Organisations can manage their volunteers by using CRM.
Tips for how to measure the impact made by volunteers
It is often important to demonstrate the value of volunteering to various stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to detail what you collect, the way you collect it, analyse it, and what should be done with this information. The initial step is developing an impact framework that can help you collect a wide range of information, such as the following:
The motivations, goals, demographics, and diversity of your volunteers
Extend of the delivery e.g. cash-in kind contributions and hours provided by volunteers
The economic, social, and personal benefits that volunteers gain from their experience
The positive value that volunteers contribute to your organisation through their achievements and relationship with beneficiaries
The broader contribution of volunteers to the growth and sustainability of your organisation when it comes to human, in-kind, and financial resources