Volunteers are a valuable resource for non profits that can take their organization towards a better profit. But many of us don’t think about improving our strategies when we run our volunteer programs. We tend to ignore the fact that many of us are solely running on volunteer power.
Finding the best volunteers and then recognising their talents can be a challenge for our organizations. Volunteers may feel underutilized, if we don’t use proper strategies to hone their talents. So what can be best practices for a volunteer management program? Let’s see.
1. Form a Proper Job Description
Are your volunteers aware of your particular expectations for them? Do they understand the requirements for volunteering? Do they have any idea where to turn for issues or questions?
Like everyone else in your organization, your volunteers should have a title and a job description that address these issues. You should tell them the following things:
- What does the volunteer position require?
- How many hours do you need their assistance, and how regularly?
- What makes them capable of volunteering?
- Who they answer to and how their job relates to the mission and goals of the company?
- How will the experience benefit them?
Getting explicit about the aforementioned points will not only help your current volunteers understand the situation, but it will also aid in the recruitment of new volunteers.
2. A Budget is also Important
Even though your volunteers are working for free, your organization’s volunteer programme is not necessarily free. Running a volunteer programme involves costs, which should be listed as line items in the budget. Typical line of items for a volunteer programme include the following:
- Recruitment resources
- Training resources
- Check the background (if necessary)
- Project resources
- Volunteer acknowledgement
- Time spent by staff on the volunteer programme
- Helping the volunteers (food, travel, reimbursements, etc.)
Volunteers want to feel that their efforts are furthering the goals of your organization. They want a positive experience and to feel understood, valued, and informed. By putting these five best practices into effect, you may increase the engagement, encouragement, motivation, and output of your volunteers.
3. Praise And Value Your Volunteers
Do your volunteers realize how much everyone in your company values their contributions? After a volunteer event, sending out a mass “thank you” email is good, but it is insufficient. Any opportunity you have to thank a volunteer in person should be taken advantage of since they want to feel appreciated. You may learn more about your best volunteers by tracking their volunteer hours through your volunteer management system. assisting you in appreciating all of their efforts.
Do you bestow prizes on volunteers? Is National Volunteer Week observed by you? Do your volunteers know staff members from other programmes? Think about expressing your gratitude in more intimate, significant, and frequent ways.
4. Boost Your Organization’s Engagement
Volunteers and potential donors should be actively involved in the nonprofit process. Disinterested volunteers can cost a group time and perhaps even money. 51 percent of American workers in the for-profit sector are disengaged. According to a different study, only 25% of business leaders have an engagement plan in place, even though 90% of them think it will benefit their company.
The math doesn’t work out.
Lack of volunteer engagement can harm your nonprofit in a number of ways, including:
- Lower rates of retention
- Less people are aware of volunteer opportunities
- Higher training expenditures and increased volunteer turnover
- Possibility of lowering donation commitments (remember: 8 out of 10 volunteers also donate financially).
How to implement the engagement management approach in your organization?
There are numerous ways for your nonprofit to integrate engagement into the operation of your organization. The finest piece of advice is to treat your volunteers as you would want to be treated by a company you donated your time to.
Here are some additional strategies for recruiting volunteers:
- By offering rewards, you can encourage volunteers to donate their time more.
- Give your volunteers chances to take the lead (develop leadership roles)
- Make interacting with volunteers successfully a primary objective for your nonprofit.
- By forming groups and friendships, your nonprofit can make volunteering enjoyable.
- Learn about the abilities of your volunteers.
- Utilize a volunteer management software to make sure that volunteers can easily sign up for opportunities.
The above best practices will surely help you in forming better strategies for your volunteer programs. We should also inform our volunteers about how they are doing, so they can feel appreciated and informed.