How can charities improve efficiency and retain volunteers?


When it comes to charitable organisations, finding ways to improve efficiency and retain volunteers is key. But how can the people and resources at your disposal be utilised in the most time efficient and cost effective way? The answer lies in using technology wherever possible to streamline and automate processes.

Here are 4 key areas where technology can improve efficiency and retain volunteers in your charity:

How charities can improve efficiency and retain volunteers

How charities can improve efficiency and retain volunteers

    1. Communication: People need to feel connected to the cause of your charity, to feel part of something. That means your mission, values and journey need to be communicated as effectively as possible. And this communication shouldn’t be a one-way street. The views of a volunteer are a window into the world of the people you’re trying to help. Asking for feedback and their opinions will help the volunteer to feel valued and help you to deliver a service that makes a difference. Increasing communication horizontally, between managers and volunteers, will create a sense of understanding between teams and provide support for both sides.
    2. Administration: One of the most challenging areas of managing volunteers is the administration required to do so. Yet processes such as keeping contact details, availability, skills and interests up-to-date can be streamlined, digitised and controlled from one central system. That means your team will have more time to do the stuff that really matters; reaching your supporters and those in need.
    3. Data: We know that many charitable organisations work from endless spreadsheets that don’t interact with each other. This means they don’t have all the data in one place to give a full picture of each volunteer. Data is a powerful asset and enables charities to match skills and volunteer roles, understand the profile of every individual, and see every interaction that they have had with the organisation. Managing your data from one central place allows you to build campaigns that will convert a new subscriber into a first-time volunteer, or create personalised emails that congratulate a volunteer for reaching 50+ hours of volunteering.
    4. Knowledge: Sharing expertise, resources and insights, particularly from skilled volunteers, will help your team to continuously improve. Whether that’s in the form of videos, guides or workshops. Your volunteers will have an insight into the front-line that many employees won’t have access to. And that’s worth a lot. Show that you invest in your volunteers, that you support and guide them and in return, you’ll build a loyal network.

Many charities are investing in a fundraising management system to help them to improve efficiency and retain volunteers. An effective solution that is specifically tailored to the charity sector can also help to build strategic marketing campaigns informed by data, report and track their fundraising performance, automate marketing activity and monitor social media conversations; all from one central place. For further information, download our eBook on the “10 reasons charities choose Microsoft Dynamics 365 for managing supporter relationships.”

Article by:
Tory Cassie
Not-for-Profit Business Development