6 ways to improve volunteer management across your Not-for-Profit organisation


The difference between a good fundraising event and a great one can largely be attributed to those that on are on the front line. I am of course referring to your volunteers the ones that are running the day, helping and interacting with your supporters, and usually at little or no cost.

To ensure event success you need to make sure that your volunteers are happy and satisfied. As your most valuable asset, it’s vital that you get to know them better, understanding how you can make them feel appreciated for the work they do, and how you can maximise their productivity by ensuring they are working to their skill set.

Here we look at 6 different ways you can improve your volunteer management style, and how you can incorporate these tactics into your next fundraising campaigns:

1. Understand your volunteers

Use all of the data available to really understand the strengths, skills range and availability trends within your volunteer base. By profiling volunteers and tracking activity you are simplifying future decision making. Using data to improve volunteer management means you can build up a picture of what works well (and what doesn’t).
If the intelligence just isn’t there for you, build it. Use online survey tools to get visibility of preferences, feedback from past campaigns and their suggestions for future campaigns. Keep the feedback forms short and regular and the engagement will be greatly received.

2. Automate what you can

Most CRM and communication platforms now come with the ability to schedule and automate emails, text messages and social media inboxes. Use it.
Marketing automation tools mean you can drip feed volunteers with the information they need, at a time they need it, using a medium they are familiar with. And better still, you can set up all of the communications well in advance. So in the final days leading up to an event, you can rest assured that reminder text messages and emails have been sent out to your active volunteers with pre-event briefing details.

3. Volunteer Administration

Behind every individual volunteer is paperwork. You are responsible for registering, briefing, training and checking their references, qualifications, DBS certificates and availability all before they can even put in the man-hours. To improve volunteer management, or rather volunteer recruitment, streamline this process and don’t skip it. Lean on technology that is designed to specifically speed up the process of setting up new volunteers and rules out the ability to cut the corners that come back to haunt you when a rogue volunteer expense form lands on your desk.

4. Incentivise volunteers

Where paid employees can be incentivised through pay, volunteers need a different kind of incentive. Recognition for reaching milestones and shout outs for going above and beyond play a large part in volunteer engagement. But you will need a volunteer management system that can easily track and report on volunteer activity first.

5. Share wins

15 million people in the UK regularly volunteer, and they do so to make a difference to their community. Put in measures to ensure the positive impacts of your cause are not just taken for granted and in fact are shared amongst stakeholders on a regular basis. What are the best ways to share them? You could start by factoring snippets into that marketing automation strategy I mentioned earlier.

6. Embrace technology

The Lloyds Bank UK Business Digital Index 2015 found that the charity sector is the least digitally mature in the UK industry. Yet the next generation of volunteers expects registration and communication to mirror that of the commercial world. Online forms, central systems, online profiles are all a far cry from handwritten registration forms inputted into Excel spreadsheets. Providing a user experience your volunteers are familiar with will strengthen their connection with your cause.

It won’t take long for you, your committee and your supporters to notice the benefits of the changes you make to your volunteer management process. You can find more advice on attracting, engaging and managing volunteers in this free eBook and if you would like to know more about NfP 365 CRM, a Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution customised for Not-for-Profits you can book a demo here.

tory-cassie-mhanceArticle by:
Tory Cassie
Not-for-Profit Sales Manager