Throughout the month of April nonprofits across the United States paused to thank their amazing volunteers for their many hours of service to their communities. It’s tempting to step into the month of May focusing on your next big event or newsletter. Now, however, is the time to refresh the way you engage new volunteers, strategically manage volunteer and staff relations, and prepare to reveal the incredible value they bring to your organization at your Volunteer Appreciation of 2018.
Refresh How You Engage New Volunteers
Do you have a plan in place for recruiting, training, and developing successful ongoing relationships? It’s not difficult to create a plan, but you will want to set aside time for thoughtful analysis of how your organization currently interacts with volunteers, and visualize what success means to your board and staff. There are lots of sources available to walk you through this process. Take a look at "Strategic Volunteer Engagement" with a fantastic “framework” template for determining your needs, or "365 Ideas..." loaded with practical advice and suggestions.
Strategically Manage Volunteer and Staff Relations
In “365 Ideas for Recruiting, Retaining, Motivating and Rewarding Your Volunteers” S. Fader and A. Erickson, address the crucial issue of staff-volunteer relations. How your staff treats and interacts with your volunteers can make a significant impact on volunteer retention. Take time to involve your staff in the planning process. Thoroughly train your volunteers before they work with staff, or confirm your staff have adequate time to handle their own work if they are also training volunteers for their department. Provide a policy for volunteers, including who to approach if they have a problem, and make sure the staff feel comfortable voicing their concerns, too. Written policies are the best way to help avoid confusion, so be sure to have copies available and include them in your Volunteer Handbook.
Prepare to Reveal the Incredible Value Volunteers Bring to Your Organization
You’ve brought in new volunteers, have a summer intern and your faithful long-term volunteers, now what? It’s time to measure your success! “Databases can be programmed to track not only the number of volunteers in your agency and their hours spent in service, but also whether their service correlates with other outcomes important to your organization” according to Strategic Volunteer Engagement: A Guide for Nonprofit and Public Sector Leaders. Volunteers for Salesforce (V4S), an app that works with the Nonprofit Success Pack to customize Salesforce for your nonprofit, does all that, plus provides coordinators and admins with a robust management tool.
Here are a few ways Volunteers for Salesforce will help you manage, and be proud of, your Volunteer Program
- View all the volunteer jobs at your organization
- View your volunteers by availability
- Track and view all the skills of your volunteers
- Track hours of each volunteer
- Track the total hours worked by all volunteers on a shift or event
- Create a volunteer jobs/shifts calendar for your website that integrates with Salesforce
- Volunteers can sign up through the website calendar for one-time and recurring events
- Volunteers can see the number of hours they have worked
- Send reminder emails before and thank you emails after each shift or event
- Report on total number of volunteers
- Report on your volunteer’s skills, hours worked, availability, etc.
Since V4S works hand-in-hand with Salesforce and the Nonprofit Success Pack, you can also easily find out if your volunteers attend your fundraising events, participate in your annual giving drive or are related to other constituents at your organization.
Relationships with volunteers can be complex and rewarding. Volunteers for Salesforce helps streamline the management process so you can focus on refreshing how you engage with your volunteers and staff. Prepare now to reveal at your 2018 Volunteer Appreciation how deeply your volunteers impact your organization!
To learn more, check out the Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack or get hands-on, for free, through Salesforce’s Trailhead Manage Volunteers for Nonprofits Trail. You can also visit BackOffice Thinking on the Salesforce AppExchange.