How Volunteer Management Software Helps Nonprofits

As nonprofits see a surge in demand for their services, passionate volunteers are more important than ever to their mission. Nearly half of nonprofit CEOs say recruiting enough volunteers is a critical issue for their organization. A key challenge? A lack of infrastructure and staff capacity to keep volunteers engaged.

Volunteers have limited time to give back, and they want to feel appreciated when they support your organization. Clear and frequent communication goes a long way toward making volunteers feel valued—but finding sufficient time to dedicate to volunteer engagement is a perennial challenge.

Fortunately, modern technology solutions can alleviate the burden of communication on your staff. Volunteer management software facilitates the essential but time-consuming work of volunteer outreach and engagement. As a result, your staff and volunteers can dedicate more time and resources to fundraising, community programming, and other essential activities.




What is Volunteer Management Software?

Volunteer management software is a platform that optimizes the process of recruiting, organizing, and engaging volunteers. Many nonprofits default to saving volunteer contact information and activity trackers in spreadsheets and communicating via individual email accounts. However, manual processes like these are time-consuming and leave your organization vulnerable to security risks.

A centralized, secure platform eases the burden on volunteers and employees by streamlining communication and coordinating volunteer activities in a secure environment. And because volunteer records and data are housed in a central location, you can easily analyze volunteering trends and create accurate reports.


Why Effective Volunteer Management Is Important for Nonprofits

The success of nonprofit fundraising, programs, and other events hinges on community support. Organizations frequently require assistance with tasks like event planning and on-site support, data entry, inventory management, etc. However, it can be challenging to engage volunteers with the skill sets you need for critical tasks.

An effective volunteer management solution eliminates many of the usual hurdles to growing and engaging your volunteer base. For example, you can quickly reach out to your community and ask them to donate their time and skills to your volunteer opportunities.

When you have a public-facing platform like a volunteer management system, your community can explore volunteer opportunities, sign up for events, and provide details about their availability and skill set. The system also tracks volunteer hours and skills, creating a valuable database for future engagement when new opportunities pop up.


What Are the Benefits of Using Volunteer Management Software?

You've got enough on your plate without manually handling additional administrative tasks. The right software solution can help take these tasks off your to-do list so you can focus more on your nonprofit’s core mission and priorities.

Consider the benefits of volunteer management software for your nonprofit: 


Streamlined Volunteer Recruitment Process

With volunteer management software, you can feature volunteer sign-up forms on your website or use iPads at your events to encourage volunteers to sign up and express their interests easily. The sign-up forms are embedded directly from the system, so you don't have to collect volunteer contact information at an event and manually upload it later. Volunteer management systems also allow volunteers to specify their skill set, location, and interests (like advocacy and human rights, arts and culture, etc.), enabling you to target the most suitable candidates for future volunteer opportunities.


Centralized Volunteer Database

Volunteer management software comprehensively views volunteers and their engagements with your organization. This centralized database and visibility are invaluable for future events, enabling you to focus your outreach more precisely when seeking fundraising or program support. It also helps prioritize relationships and ensures the most engaged individuals receive appropriate attention.


Improved Volunteer Communication

Efficient communication is vital, and volunteer management software facilitates targeted messaging. Rather than blasting generic messages, you can tailor communications based on interests, skills, availability, and past engagements. A targeted approach increases the likelihood of a higher response rate and prevents volunteers from being inundated with irrelevant information, which could turn them away from your nonprofit.


Efficient Volunteer Scheduling

While supporters can self-sign up for volunteer opportunities through the software, your nonprofit can review and approve volunteers. This helps guarantee that volunteers' interests and availability align with your organization's needs. The system can also verify that the right volunteer training requirements are met (like CPR or first aid training) and conduct background checks for specific roles (like after-school programs).


Optimized Volunteer Tracking

Volunteer management software includes features for tracking volunteer hours. This benefits volunteers, who can provide evidence of their contributions to employers so they can receive credit for their time off or facilitate employer donations to the nonprofit based on employees' volunteer efforts. It allows your nonprofit to confirm and acknowledge volunteers' efforts. The transparency and accountability provided by tracked hours contribute to increased trust and engagement.


Increased Volunteer Retention

A well-managed volunteer program boosts the likelihood of volunteers staying committed to your nonprofit’s cause. Effective communication and recognizing and appreciating volunteers' efforts contribute to a positive volunteer experience and encourage them to stay engaged with your organization.


Enhanced Donor Management System

Volunteer management software augments your donor management system and helps provide a holistic view of constituents and their monetary or in-kind donations. When they’re integrated, you can sync data and contacts. This system also enables you to track engagements, donations, and volunteering efforts, creating a comprehensive understanding of each supporter's involvement and driving higher engagement.


Check out: Key Features That Engage Supporters


Key Features to Look for in Volunteer Management Software

When evaluating providers, consider their customization options, user-friendliness, and integration capabilities to ensure that the chosen solution aligns seamlessly with your organization's unique needs. 

The most robust platforms offer: 


Customizable Volunteer Management Portal

Flexibility is crucial in a volunteer management portal. Look for a software partner that offers the ability to customize so you can tailor the portal to your nonprofit’s specific needs. With the right software provider, you can unlock the flexibility to customize volunteer interest areas, keywords, skills, and location availability, making it easier to match volunteers with opportunities that align with their expertise.


Robust Reporting and Analytics Capabilities

Detailed reporting and analytics are essential for making informed decisions. When you use a platform that has customizable reports, you can generate insights based on collected information. This enables targeted outreach, such as finding volunteers close to a specific event location or identifying past volunteers likely to engage again. Reports can also tell you the engagement rate for your database of volunteers, the share of donors who are also volunteers, and the profile of people most likely to engage so you can target people with similar profiles in future recruiting efforts. 


Grab your copy: 9 KPIs to Fire Up Your Donor Engagement


Advanced Integration Capabilities

Your nonprofit CRM should streamline volunteer and donor management so you can access a comprehensive view of your supporters. This makes it easier to identify the people best suited to support future activities, no matter how they entered your database, through a donation or a volunteer opportunity.

Frontstream’s Panorama is an all-in-one solution for donor and volunteer engagement, so you don’t have to work with multiple vendors to manage donors and fundraising efforts separately from volunteers. It also integrates seamlessly with email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact, making it easier to execute outreach campaigns. Plus, you can integrate Panorama with QuickBooks so you can post and track donations that result from your engagement efforts.


User-Friendly Interface and Ease of Use

A user-friendly interface encourages volunteers to sign up and engage. With a public-facing volunteer page, you can simplify the process by allowing volunteers to sign up and integrate into the donor management system effortlessly. This integration ensures that volunteer data becomes part of your organization's database, facilitating ongoing engagement.


Secure Data Management and Privacy Features

Look for a software partner committed to prioritizing your supporters’ security and data while taking the necessary measures to safeguard sensitive information and providing comprehensive documentation. For example, FrontStream holds PCI Level 1 certification to ensure that all supporters’ payment information is always protected when they donate to your cause.


Elevate Your Nonprofit's Success with Volunteer Management Software

Implementing a volunteer management software solution can significantly enhance your ability to coordinate, communicate, and track volunteer activities, making the process more efficient for your organization.

FrontStream’s integrated fundraising and volunteer + donor management platform offers a user-friendly interface, robust recruitment tools, and sophisticated engagement capabilities. With our centralized database, your nonprofit can elevate its success and build lasting relationships with volunteers, donors, and corporate sponsors alike.

To learn more about how FrontStream can help your nonprofit streamline volunteer management, request a demo today.


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