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Volunteers are a core component of a nonprofit’s success. Because they rely heavily on supporters—whether supporting via donor dollars or volunteered hours—it’s essential to build and maintain a database of volunteers. Volunteer management software helps a nonprofit organization store contact information, a participant's history, availability and more. Volunteer scheduling software also provides outreach tools to contact those who've volunteered for upcoming events, and scheduling tools to track responses and availability.
A Volunteering in America study showed that 25.4 percent of American adults volunteered 7.7 billion hours in 2013. Nonprofit organizations should strive to capture as much of this trend as possible. Beyond capturing the volunteering trend, however, is engaging and nourishing these relationships once they’ve begun. Here are a few benefits of implementing a volunteer tracking software solution:
Recruitment. Volunteer management systems include online volunteer applications that sync contact information into the database, saving time from manual entry and increasing prospects. Customizable directories can also be added to a nonprofit’s sites so visitors can search for opportunities, role descriptions and site locations.
Management. An advanced contact management system, volunteer management features allow users to organize contact information and history, including volunteer type, frequency, restrictions and more. This allows users to group volunteers, filter search criteria and reach out to appropriate supporters.
Communication. Communication features allow users to send email campaigns to volunteers requesting service and automated email reminders for upcoming service commitments they’ve volunteered for. Some advanced programs also offer recognition features that automatically award volunteers whose performance has exceeded certain criteria.
Volunteer portals. Portals allow volunteers to sign into an organization’s site, inquire about upcoming volunteer opportunities, sign up for events and update contact information. Volunteers can also change their communication preferences through portals, opting in or out of particular communications.
Volunteer schedules. Nonprofit organizations can post upcoming volunteer needs with scheduling features. Prospective volunteers can then peruse opportunities and fill empty slots based on their availability.
Several features can help nonprofit organizations more effectively manage their volunteers and develop lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with them.
Volunteers are the lifeblood of an organization’s success, particularly those that may not have the assets to pay a full staff. Approaching your volunteer plan strategically can significantly improve relationships, public visibility and overall contribution to your organization’s mission. For more information about nonprofit solutions, visit our nonprofit buyer's guide.
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