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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, diverting the time spent on manual entry to increasing the number of prospects. Customizable directories can also be added to a nonprofit’s sites so that visitors can search for opportunities, role descriptions and site locations.|
|Management||An advanced contact management system allows 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||The communication features allow users to send email campaigns to volunteers, requesting service and adding 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.|