Our Recommended Volunteer Management Software
The Bloomerang Volunteer platform is a user-friendly volunteer management system that helps volunteer managers reclaim essential time back in their days. Nurture volunteer relationships with a streamlined sign-up process, automated reports and custom forms, and straightforward scheduling tools. Plus, Bloomerang Volunteer offers a two-way constituent profile sync with Bloomerang’s CRM, letting you identify volunteers with high giving potential and engage supporters in fundraising.
Mobilize is a leading volunteer management platform to connect mission-based organizations with supporters. Its combination of event management features, automated communication tools, and a growing network of nearly 2 million volunteers can supercharge your organization’s events and energize your supporters.
Get powerful, free (no, seriously!) volunteer management tools in minutes. POINT is an effective way to manage, engage, and mobilize volunteers. Get all the tools for your volunteer program: a robust cloud-based admin dashboard, seamless website integration, and an intuitive volunteer iOS + Android app. Did we mention it’s free for nonprofits?
Elements of Successful Volunteer Management
Types of Volunteer Involvement
Whether they’re helping set up and tear down your fundraising event or cleaning up the community on a day of service, event volunteers help your nonprofit on a short-term, unskilled basis. They make sure your efforts go off without a hitch!
In need of some accounting, legal work, or PR assistance? Skills-based volunteers can help! These volunteers may help on a one-off basis, but they may also work with your nonprofit throughout the duration of an ongoing project.
Whether performing skilled or unskilled work, long-term volunteering refers to a committed, ongoing partnership with clear expectations set from the start. Think: troop leaders, Sunday school teachers, youth mentors, or tutors.
From a friendly face at the reception desk to a data entry pro, your administrative volunteers show their devotion to your cause by supporting your nonprofit staff in the office. These volunteers are likely regulars at your organization, but they may not have a set commitment like an ongoing long-term volunteer.
Often needed in conjunction with fundraising events, volunteer committees work together to accomplish specific tasks for your nonprofit. Each committee should have a volunteer leader as well as plenty of support from a designated member of your nonprofit staff. (Hint: your board also qualifies as a volunteer committee!)
You might not think advocates for your nonprofit fall into the “volunteer” role, but they do! Often the face of your mission, your advocates are out on the street raising awareness (and money) for your cause. To promote your advocacy efforts, you’ll need to provide supporters with the right resources so they can get the word out in the most effective ways.
Volunteer Management Software
What Can Volunteer Management Software Do?
Within your volunteer management system, you’ll be able to build detailed volunteer profiles to track volunteer history, interests, skills, and other important data. You can also add volunteer ratings, notes, and documents to keep the most accurate records possible—no filing cabinets needed! Get a bird’s eye view of your upcoming volunteer projects in a manageable calendar that you can easily share on your website. That way, your staff and your recruits will be on the same page for all the volunteer happenings at your organization.
Within your volunteer management system, you’ll be able to build detailed volunteer profiles to track volunteer history, interests, skills, and other important data. You can also add volunteer ratings, notes, and documents to keep the most accurate records possible—no filing cabinets needed!
Get a bird’s eye view of your upcoming volunteer projects in a manageable calendar that you can easily share on your website. That way, your staff and your recruits will be on the same page for all the volunteer happenings at your organization.
You can use your volunteer management software to group volunteers into categories based on relevant criteria, such as relationships, interests, or skills. Not only will finding the right volunteers be a breeze, but communicating to those segments all at once will be too! From checking in your volunteers to tracking their time on the job, your volunteer management software should make it easy to keep accurate records of your volunteers’ involvement. You’ll never have to guess who was on-site or estimate how long they were there; your software will show you everything!
You can use your volunteer management software to group volunteers into categories based on relevant criteria, such as relationships, interests, or skills. Not only will finding the right volunteers be a breeze, but communicating to those segments all at once will be too!
From checking in your volunteers to tracking their time on the job, your volunteer management software should make it easy to keep accurate records of your volunteers’ involvement. You’ll never have to guess who was on-site or estimate how long they were there; your software will show you everything!
Volunteer management software and event platforms make it easy to reach wider audiences and improve follow-through. With access to wider networks of supporters, intuitive registration tools, automated communication, and more, organizations have seen up to 30% growth in attendance through online sign-ups alone.
What Volunteer Management Software Features Should You Look For?
Look for a volunteer management system that lets you create custom webforms you can use for volunteer applications, registration, waivers, surveys, and more. That way, all of the volunteer data you capture online will seamlessly flow into your database.
You’ll need to send volunteer sign-up confirmations, pre-shift reminders, and post-shift follow-ups, among other types of communications. Your volunteer software should let you schedule these in advance to save you time and ensure no volunteer misses an important message.
Volunteer Check-In Capabilities
The best volunteer management software should allow you to use your mobile device to check volunteers in and out at their shift. Plus, your software should instantly store their shift information within their volunteer profiles. No manual data entry or time-tracking required!
Real-Time Reporting and Analytics
You can’t improve your volunteer program without first analyzing your current practices. Use your volunteer management software to run custom reports and create useful dashboards to get a real-time picture of your program’s success.
Fundraising Through Volunteer Grants
The Basics of Volunteer Grants
Volunteer grant programs are corporate philanthropy initiatives that allow eligible nonprofits to receive funding for employees’ volunteer service. These programs (also called Dollars for Doers programs) are straightforward: after an individual volunteers at a nonprofit, they can submit a volunteer grant request to their employer, who will then provide a financial donation to the organization. Each company will have its own restrictions and eligibility requirements, but the most widespread limitation for volunteer grants is that many supporters simply aren’t aware the programs exist!
Volunteer grant programs are corporate philanthropy initiatives that allow eligible nonprofits to receive funding for employees’ volunteer service.
These programs (also called Dollars for Doers programs) are straightforward: after an individual volunteers at a nonprofit, they can submit a volunteer grant request to their employer, who will then provide a financial donation to the organization.
Each company will have its own restrictions and eligibility requirements, but the most widespread limitation for volunteer grants is that many supporters simply aren’t aware the programs exist!
Using Software to Maximize Volunteer Grant Fundraising
You can use specialized software to get more from volunteer grant programs.
With a tool like Double the Donation’s database search widget, your volunteers can quickly search their employer’s name to find out everything they need to know about their company’s corporate giving programs.
Make sure to place this tool on your volunteer sign-up page, as well as on your website’s corporate giving or Ways to Get Involved pages.
You can also capitalize on more comprehensive software to manage the volunteer grant process from end to end.
Using a dedicated tool like 360MatchPro, you can automate all of your matching gift and volunteer grant communications to ensure all of your supporters are well-eduacted about their corporate giving opportunities.
360MatchPro allows you to quickly scan your database for email domains that align with known corporate giving programs. Then, you can schedule batch or individual outreach initiatives to help those eligible donors and volunteers submit their paperwork in time.
Volunteer Management Tips for Recruitment
Leverage Peer-to-Peer Marketing
To promote new opportunities, leverage your strongest assets: your existing volunteers. These supporters can speak to their experiences with your cause. Get creative by offering materials like social media post templates and eCards they can send to spread the word.
Reach Out To Corporate Partners
Especially if you have a pre-existing relationship, businesses are a great source of volunteers. Reach out to your corporate partners to line up a volunteer day or promote specific events to their employees. Chances are, they’ll come through and provide the support your cause needs.
Optimize Your Volunteer Application
Keep your form concise while capturing the essential volunteer data. Make sure to include an optional section that invites prospects to check off their skills and interests. That way, you’ll be able to promote opportunities that are particularly appealing to them.
Write Clear Volunteer Job Descriptions
Draw in recruits by crafting clear, compelling volunteer job descriptions. Explain the parameters and responsibilities for the role, but don’t forget to express how this role contributes to your nonprofit’s overall mission.
Use Your Volunteer Management System
Search for former volunteers who might be interested in future opportunities by filtering your volunteer database by engagement history or area of expertise. If you’re storing the right details, you’ll know exactly who to reach out to first.
Take Your Volunteer Outreach Online
Find volunteers where they already are—online! Utilize your nonprofit’s website as well as social media, email newsletters, and other online marketing channels to promote upcoming opportunities to the widest possible audience.
Host Volunteer Recruitment Events
Start your volunteer relationships off on the right foot by hosting in-person and virtual events and info sessions. These events can offer an informal, engaging way for a potential supporter to get to know your organization’s staff and get a better idea of what opportunities you offer. Plus, tap into existing online networks and platforms to post new opportunities and engage wider audiences.
Turn Non-Volunteers Into Volunteers
The best volunteers are excited about your mission and dedicated to your cause. Sound familiar? Look to your existing constituency! Your nonprofit CRM should already have donors and members on file, so reach out about volunteer opportunities you think they’d like!
Volunteer Engagement Best Practices
When it comes to training, treat your volunteers like you would a member of your staff. Your volunteer coordinator will need to outline a straightforward orientation process that goes over all of their responsibilities as well as your nonprofit’s mission, policies, and guidelines. You can handle this process on an individual level or conduct a group orientation once a month or at the start of a volunteer initiative.
When volunteers know what your nonprofit wants from them, they’re much more likely to meet (and surpass!) those expectations. You’ll need to document the baseline requirements of the job (e.g., hours served to tasks completed) as well as the ideal outcomes of this volunteer position would be (e.g., amount of money raised by volunteer callers at a phonathon event).
Don’t leave your volunteers to fend for themselves! It’s your job to maintain an active role in your volunteers’ work. During the shift, you should provide some form of supervision, especially if your volunteers are new. You’ll also want to provide volunteers with contact information so that they can reach your team outside their shift hours, too, for questions, concerns, or feedback.
You can show volunteers that you value them by listening and responding to their needs. Use your volunteer management software to keep track of your volunteers’ preferences when it comes to types of volunteer work, scheduling, and communication channels. The more responsive you are to your volunteers, the more likely they are to respond to your opportunities, too.
How To Thank Your Volunteers
Nothing says “thank you” to your most committed supporters quite like a personalized card. With the right tools, you can send digital cards directly to your volunteers after an event without having to worry about printing or postage costs. There’s never been a more eco-friendly and efficient way to connect with your volunteers!
Backed by eCard creation tools, you can create visually-engaging cards that express your team’s gratitude. Design cards for specific events or have generic ones that fit any opportunity.
Then whenever someone volunteers, your team can choose the design they think best fits, fill out the individual’s contact information, add a personalized message, and hit send. The eCard will go directly to their inbox, and they’ll feel like their hard work didn’t go unnoticed. A token of appreciation like this can go a long way in inspiring volunteers to stick around!
Volunteer Appreciation Events
If you want to go all out for your volunteers, host a volunteer appreciation event! Whether you gather in person or online, an event is a great way to bring everyone together to bond over the cause.
A volunteer party might be the way to go. Choose a theme, fun music, and complimentary refreshments. Then, bring your staff and volunteers together to mingle.
You could also have an old-fashioned potluck or a festival where staff members contribute items and volunteers bring their families. Then, your team can take time to interact and learn why they’re invested in working on your cause.
Highlight Volunteers on Social Media
Chances are, your supporters are active on social media. Bring your appreciation efforts to the online space by featuring your volunteers. Spotlight standout volunteers regularly with a dedicated post. You might even reach out to them for a quote before publishing it.
Something as simple as posting pictures of volunteers working your events can boost retention, too. Not to mention, this can double as a recruitment tactic. When your supporters see pictures of themselves helping your cause, they might share them with their followers, adding a note about how much they enjoyed supporting your cause.
No matter your approach, double-check that your volunteers are fine with being posted on social media first.
Volunteer Management Resources
Best Volunteer Management Tools for Nonprofits
From tracking time to storing contact data and much more, volunteer management software is vital for your volunteer program.
Find the right volunteer management tools for your nonprofit by reading our reviews of the top platforms on the market.
10 Volunteer Grant Companies You Need to Know
Did you know your volunteers could help your fundraising strategy too? It’s true!
With volunteer grants, you can earn money for each hour your supporters volunteer. Check out the top volunteer grant companies and learn more in this post from 360MatchPro.