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Managing Nonprofit Volunteers with CharityEngine

An army of nonprofit volunteers can be your secret weapon! Learn how our fundraising software makes volunteer management a breeze.

Managing Nonprofit Volunteers with CharityEngine

There’s nothing more helpful than a list of eager volunteers when you’re planning fundraising events. Walks and runs, galas, and auctions all run smoothly when you have a veritable team of volunteers making sure nothing goes wrong. Managing this group is effortless, right?

Effortless would be a stretch. But if you’re a CharityEngine customer, volunteer management is baked into our fundraising software, making it easy to attract, retain, and manage all those supporters ready to lend a helping hand.

Let’s look at five ways CharityEngine makes volunteer management easy.

5 Ways CharityEngine Makes Volunteer Management Easy

One of the truly unique features of CharityEngine’s fundraising software is that all data and tools are in one place. This means no silos…you can have a prospect that becomes a volunteer and then a donor. All those records are in one place, giving you a 360-degree view of that supporter.

Your donor records, therefore, can be nuanced, and volunteer management starts right there.

1. Donor Database for Personalized Targeting

The donor database is at the heart of every nonprofit. When you use CharityEngine, you get the most comprehensive view of your donors, thanks to the integrated data and tools. This means you can view different data points—past donations or volunteering, demographics, frequency of engagement—to target potential volunteers. The breadth of data lets you personalize your outreach, making volunteer recruitment much easier.

2. Smart Forms to Track Volunteers

Once you’ve recruited volunteers, it’s critical to understand who is donating time and energy to which efforts. CharityEngine’s smart forms make this easy! You can quickly create volunteer signup forms for an event. Once the contacts are in the database, the forms can map data points, like donating or purchasing tickets, to a record. Advanced forms help you know who your volunteers are and how they’re supporting your organization.

3. Nurture Supporters with Email Automation

Volunteers mean more than extra hands at an event. Identifying individuals willing to share their time and talent can uncover your most ardent and committed supporters. Studies have shown that 85% of volunteers will donate to organizations they serve, so nurturing this group can impact your nonprofit in big ways. Using CharityEngine’s email automation, you can personalize and automate curated outreach to keep supporters engaged and progressing through the donor journey.

4. Accurately Record Volunteer Hours for Grant Applications

Knowing the exact number of hours donated by volunteers will benefit your nonprofit in many ways. Understanding the monetary value of these hours can help you assess your community impact and earn more funding, as well as acknowledge the true cost of different programs. Importantly, grant applications often require matching funds for a nonprofit to qualify (and volunteer hours can count in these funds). If matching funds aren’t required, grantmakers will often consider the value of volunteer hours, which will improve your chances of funding.

5. Enable Communication Series to Recruit and Engage Volunteers

Many nonprofits focus heavily on recruiting and retaining donors and sustainers—as they should—but ignore the process of recruiting and engaging volunteers. Even if a volunteer isn’t part of the 85% that turns into a donor, the support and consistency of a dedicated volunteer are just as valuable. Using a strategic communication series to promote volunteer efforts, spotlight volunteer appreciation events, and share newsletters that demonstrate volunteer impact can attract interest and commitment.

Tips for Effective Volunteer Management

Leveraging your fundraising software is a big help in volunteer management. We’ve shown you some of the features of CharityEngine, but many fundraising platforms will have functionality that can help. Regardless of your technology, there are some tips that will turn your nonprofit into a volunteer haven!

  • Employ multichannel outreach when recruiting volunteers. You’ll want to reach the high-school kids needing volunteer hours for graduation as much as you’ll want to find the retiree with plenty of time on his or her hands.
  • Communicate regularly and effectively with any volunteers. An emailed newsletter offering opportunities with links to sign-up forms and even portals can keep everyone on the same page, eliminating the frustration and confusion over commitments and hours.
  • Carefully consider the needs of your volunteers. Equip them with t-shirts or clipboards or walkie-talkies or any tools they need to represent and run your events effectively.
  • Set crystal-clear expectations. Write everything down, including contact information for support, job descriptions, and shift details. Detail any process that must be followed and even include checklists to ensure tasks are completed correctly.
  • When volunteers arrive, ensure they can identify a point of contact from your staff. Questions always arise, and someone on the ground who can respond to requests quickly will keep events moving smoothly.
  • Boil volunteer recognition into everything you do. Thank them on social media, spotlight them on your website, send a handwritten note of thanks. It can be more taxing to spend three hours at an event than it is to write a check or swipe a credit card, so give volunteers the praise they deserve.
  • Mine volunteers for feedback! This diverse group bound by a commitment to your cause can offer a gold mine of opinions about everything from your messaging to your website to your events to what they’re hearing from donors and prospects. Ask the questions!

Manage Volunteers for Long-Lasting Impact

Consider your army of volunteers to be a vibrant and crucial component of your nonprofit. They are workhorses but also serve as objective ambassadors, spreading word of your mission and your organization. When you afford them the same care…nurturing, supporting, and thanking…that you do your financial donors, your nonprofit will have an unshakeable foundation of support.

The right fundraising software will include volunteer management functionality, and the right partner will help you maximize your outreach efforts. If you’re looking for that kind of software or partner, we would be delighted to share CharityEngine with you.