How to Virtually Engage Volunteers in 2021
Finding people who are so passionate they want to devote their free time to your mission and organization is something special. With that being said, volunteers are one of the most vital components that give your nonprofit organization the power to go to the next level. Over the past year with COVID-19, depending on your nonprofit’s field of work, many volunteers had to step up in immeasurable ways. However, many volunteering activities and events also had to be put on pause.
As the world starts to open back up and virtual technology is utilized now more than ever, we want to give you some tips and insight on how to virtually maintain your current volunteers and engage new ones as well.
The time to invest in software with volunteer management is now.
In order to reach volunteers in this digital age, you need to reach them where they are at. It’s crucial to have software that gives you the ability to recruit volunteers, post digital applications and forms, maintain records, showcase opportunities and keep up with communication. Let’s start by walking through steps to show why this is a necessity.
1. Utilize Digital Applications
The days of paper applications are over. You need a way for volunteers to apply right on your website where you’ve piqued their interest. With DonorView, you can create customizable questionnaires and applications that allow for potential volunteers to provide their answers as well as upload and sign documents right on your website. Check out this example volunteer registration page built in DonorView below:
2. Easily Track & Process Applications
Once digital applications are filled out, this means all of the potential volunteer’s information and application are saved right in your records so you can see their responses, availability, interests, etc. This helps streamline the process so now anyone with access can easily see the responses and speed the application along to get volunteers in the door.
3. Keep up the Communication
Now that you have volunteers in your system, it’s important to keep them informed on your organization and any volunteer opportunities. You need to be communicating with your volunteers to make them aware of opportunities, thank them for their volunteer services, etc. It’s important that your volunteers always feel valued and appreciated.
4. Give Access to a Volunteer Portal
Now you’re probably thinking, how can I possibly keep track of each of my volunteers and all of their time? DonorView provides you with multiple options to do so. You can have volunteers set up their own portal where they can track their time manually which will automatically update to your records. If volunteers are on the go, they can also check-in and out on the DonorView mobile app. If need be, volunteers can always manually track time in the software as well.
Struggling to find ways to engage your volunteers in the midst of COVID-19? Here are a few safe and socially distanced ideas to get volunteers involved.
By making some of your volunteering efforts completely virtual, this opens up your organization to volunteers who can provide for your organization from anywhere in the world. These are also some great volunteer opportunities for people looking to build a portfolio and gain experience.
Hint: If you’re near a local college or university, why not share your virtual volunteer opportunities with them? Many students are always looking for experience and volunteer hours.
- Social Media
Do you have some volunteers who know their way around the internet? Maintaining a social media presence is essential for non-profits. Allow 1–2 volunteers to help keep your pages active by posting weekly content and updates about your organization. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your volunteers to share and interact with your content on their social media pages.
2. Writing & Editing
Next time you need help writing your annual report or an email, don’t be shy and ask if this interests your volunteers. Let them be a fresh set of eyes for your organization’s communications. After all, they are some of the most passionate people when it comes to your organization.
3. Graphic Design
Maybe your website or logo are looking a bit outdated and need a refresh. Let your volunteers get creative and make some new designs for your organization. You could even give them access to DonorView and allow them to help build your donation page.
If your organization has a tutoring or mentoring program and you can’t yet meet in person, have some virtual sessions. This allows relationships to keep building and your organization to stay moving forward.
5. Data Entry
Keep your records fresh and updated by having volunteers update any information necessary in the software. This will help you focus on other essential work within your organization.
6. Event Management
If your organization is looking to do an upcoming event, have a volunteer log in to their own account and help build your event pages, table assignments, bid pages, etc. DonorView makes this simple by giving you unlimited user access.
Are you ready to invest in software that takes your volunteer management to the next level?