Volunteer Engagement: Smarter Software Strategies
Part 2: Volunteer Management Software
Last week, we discussed the importance of developing and executing a strong volunteer management strategy. Anyone worth their salt in the nonprofit world knows that without a strategy to recruit, retain, supervise, and reward volunteers, a nonprofit organization can suffer greatly. This is because volunteers are the lifeblood of many nonprofits.
This week, we’ll move into the second phase of successful volunteer engagement: obtaining the right volunteer management software. Nonprofits should not have to deal with being burdened by manual data entry. Therefore, finding the right volunteer software system can mean the difference between success and falling short of organizational goals.
Volunteer Engagement Strategy #2: Find the Right Volunteer Management Software
Thankfully, much of the volunteer management process no longer has to be a manual effort. With the right software, your team can centralize your volunteer efforts and even automate many of your tasks.
As you search for the right software choice, keep in mind that your nonprofit doesn’t start and end at volunteer engagement. You also need to consider campaign development, fundraising, donor stewardship, direct mail, marketing, and much more to develop a truly comprehensive strategy for your organization.
To centralize all of those crucial elements, you need a fully integrated nonprofit solution that can offer you an entire view of your operations and facilitate all of your most important tasks. You can store and manage all of your supporter data in one place, allowing you to see the full picture of your constituents as volunteers, donors, members, advocates, and much more.
After all, your volunteers may very well be prospective donors who will donate both time and money for years to come. Others may be able to expand your reach, help deepen ties within your community, and offer up services your organization has yet to articulate.
Volunteer engagement strategies conceived in complete isolation will inevitably miss out on opportunities to cultivate greater impact, so make sure your volunteer management software works with your other systems.
In addition to integration, let’s examine a few specific volunteer management software features you’ll want to be on the lookout for:
- Online form-builder. From your general volunteer application to specific interest forms and waivers, your volunteer software should enable you to customize forms that integrate seamlessly with your nonprofit website. That way, all the data you collect will automatically flow into your volunteer database.
- Shift tracking. You can manage shifts paperlessly (and painlessly!) by storing job details within your software. Check volunteers in on a mobile device, log every minute they serve, and set up a calendar to get a comprehensive overview of your volunteer shifts.
- Automated communications. It’s unrealistic and inefficient to send out individual emails or place phone calls every time you need to confirm an upcoming shift. Stay on top of all communications by finding software that can automate shift confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups, as well as social media outreach or marketing emails.
Though this is just a sampling of the features your software might offer, the main benefit of a volunteer management tool is that it makes it easier to get to know your volunteers and engage with them over time.
When you store relevant details — from contact information to engagement history, interests, and more — in your database, you can use that insight to inform your volunteer engagement strategy.
What to Know: Your volunteer management software can centralize constituent data to make it easier to cultivate relationships with your supporters. Make sure you find software with the right specifications for your needs, including robust tools and integrated features.
Next week, we will talk about the methods for building a better volunteer application. Stay tuned!
Want to learn more about how the Giveffect all-in-one software system can help your nonprofit in its fundraising, volunteer management and web hosting efforts? Visit us online at www.giveffect.com.