When you are trying to run a nonprofit,it is not the easiest job. There are many things to consider, from the restriction of time and limitation of resources, when trying to have a smooth operation. This is one of the main reasons why a lot of extra hands are required. Volunteers are the backbone of the nonprofit community as they provide the extra assistance needed without asking for a huge sum of money. The support from most volunteers is very important because it helps nonprofits in many ways. In 2017, it was estimated by the Non Profit Times that volunteer hours were rising in value and this number reached to $24.69. So what does this tell us about the impact of volunteers? And how can nonprofits use this to their advantage?
The Contribution of Volunteers
The role of volunteers in an organization is undeniably significant. Although they make no contributions to the financial aspects of a nonprofit, you will find that they can be assets elsewhere. When it comes to management and running operations, volunteer work is what drives your organization. But for these people to put in the effort, there needs to be a set strategy for motivation and encouragement. Since volunteers are under no contract or legal obligation to work, it can be tricky when trying to engage them with the work you are doing. A developed and well thought out management strategy will allow you to take advantage of the full contributions of a volunteer.
What is a Management Strategy?
A management strategy is generally a step by step process which allows people to manage their volunteers in a successful and orderly fashion. Your volunteer program comes with aims and components which appeal to these individuals, so that their effort is guaranteed. So what a good plan consists of has a lot to do when managerial tasks, such as:
- Leveraging on the strengths of the people
- Organizing information and data to reach your goals
- Understanding the need for incentives and perks
Tips to Follow Through for Success
Since each nonprofit has its own needs and demands from its volunteers, their strategies will also be different. But there are a few tips that all organizations can keep in mind when looking to improve their volunteer program.
1. Thinking Outside the Box
Nonprofits communities comes with their own competition, which is why as an organization you need to think differently.When you are recruiting people for your program, it is essential that you think outside of the box before making a decision. This is similar to the way sales executive choose targeted leads to make their pitch. So the trick is to personalize your search process and pick wisely.
2. Setting Smart Goals
When you set smart goals for any upcoming projects, you are well on the way to success. Volunteer management can be done easily when you understand why it is needed and how it will help your organization grow. Therefore, making a plan which will help you pick out the right team and increase your numbers is part of the smart goal strategy. This will give you more in terms of outreach and further optimize your working process.
3. The Way You Communicate
The communicative methods which you employ when trying to engage with volunteers will set the overall tone for your management style. This needs to be solidified and effective so that you have a grip over you team without being an authoritative tyrant. Communication is the key to running your nonprofit smoothly so do not be afraid for an open and honest discussion with the volunteers to keep them updated at all times.
4. Volunteer Retention
Retaining your volunteer base is hard.For long term retention, you will have to put in the extra work. This include straining sessions and even incentives to boost morale. When your volunteers feel appreciated and seen, they will want to stick around for the next projector event. You can retain them by gaining their trust and loyalty by showing them that they are valued and that their efforts have not gone unnoticed.
5. Staying on Top of Hours
The time tracking of the hours being put in is important for managers. This can be a huge issue if you are not in tune with who is working how many hours and how many days. You can use tools like apps and reminders to come up with a tracking medium so that everyone’s hours are clear and there is no confusion.
Sticking to a volunteer management plan can be tricky, but following these steps will help garner more engagement from your volunteers, and thus allow your organization to evolve and succeed with their help.
Author Bio Section
Sarah Jay is a content writer for Logonado Australia. She is interested in different topics such as best logo designs,animation and technological trends. In her free time, Sarah frequents coffee shops and enjoys reading.