One challenge that many nonprofits face today is the ability to capture and truly understand the time supporters are providing their organization. According to an IRS study, 85 percent of U.S. charities have little to no internal staff. Most organizations were run by volunteers in 2018. Nonprofits that do not have a formal process for keeping track of volunteer hours, measuring the impact of volunteer time, and optimizing their program based on data are missing out on a substantial opportunity.
Tracking volunteer interaction is one of the most important strategic processes your nonprofit can take to better understand what actions your supporters are taking, what areas along the path need to be improved, and what strengths of your program should be leveraged in future.
Let's explore a few of the key benefits of volunteer management software and the steps your organization can take to implement a strategic tracking process today.
Most likely your nonprofit relies on volunteers to reach its mission and goals. Making the most of your supporters’ time is critical to both your organization’s success and your volunteers’ overall experience. Volunteers today provide their time for a plethora of reasons. Regardless of their motivations, however, volunteers want their experience and commitment to matter.
An effective tracking strategy can provide volunteers with time expectations, structure, and visibility into their commitment and personal goals.
Volunteer tracking software can help your organization provide volunteers with opportunity reminders, insights into their volunteer behavior, and areas for improvement.
Increased Efficiency Benefits
Automatically tracking volunteer hours also increases efficiency and accuracy. Manually tracking volunteer participation can consume much of your staff’s time, resources, and focus.
Implementing an automated tracking solution can allow your staff to focus on building relationships, training volunteers, measuring supporter impact (only 55 percent of nonprofits do), and increasing volunteer engagement. Your nonprofit can use the increased efficiency as a doorway to find new differentiators in the nonprofit space.
Using a software solution to track volunteers can help your organization appeal to more potential prospects. Your nonprofit will be able to see what opportunities the community is most interested in, which opportunities are least appealing, and how often volunteers fulfill new opportunities and engage with your organization.
Volunteer tracking software can also integrate with Google Analytics to provide even more beneficial insights. Making the best use of this data can help your nonprofit develop exciting new opportunities, make adjustments to low-interest roles, see what is driving prospects to opportunities, and leverage successful referral sources and recruitment campaigns in the future.
More Financial Donors
Most nonprofits do not realize that there is a relationship between volunteers and financial donors. According to a study performed by Fidelity, two-thirds of volunteers donate money to the same organization to which they donate their time. Effective volunteer tracking can help your organization convert more volunteers to monetary donors and vice versa.
Here are a few ways volunteer tracking can assist in the donor conversion process:
Volunteer tracking software provides communication features that can be used to show appreciation.
Some volunteer tracking software integrates with your CRM (customer relationship management) system and donor database.
An effective tracking process can create super supporters by keeping volunteers in the loop regarding new and exciting opportunities.
Increased Fun for Volunteers
Some volunteer management solutions allow nonprofits to create a gamification process that makes volunteerism more fun and engaging. Organizations can reward volunteers for their hours served, encourage supporters to donate more time, edit and track their volunteer recognition program, and promote friendly competition.
Eric Burger is the marketing communications manager for VolunteerHub, an organization that provides volunteer management solutions for nonprofits across the globe. Eric has worked in the B2B software industry for the past two years and has over seven years of experience in digital marketing.