Food banks have played a pivotal role in our communities for decades, and they will continue to positively impact the millions of people who struggle with food insecurity each year. According to the USDA, over 10% of households in America worked with food security at some point in 2018. Thanks to food banks, many of those families were able to put food on the table when they needed it. Food banks provide essential services, but many logistical headaches stand in the way of making the true impact they seek to make. Fortunately, investing in volunteer management software can help your organization run smoothly and help even more people struggling with hunger.
1. Efficient Volunteer Signup & Onboarding
Onboarding new volunteers, especially when there are spikes in food insecurity, can help food banks stay afloat when their workload increases. Unfortunately, the recruitment process is often costly and time-consuming. Many volunteer coordinators spend hours exchanging emails and phone calls with potential volunteers, only to have the majority of their prospects fall through. Volunteer management software can efficiently take care of the entire onboarding process; no calls are required.
From customizing an online signup form to collecting important information and simple volunteer screening to automated volunteer notifications. Let the software do the heavy lifting, freeing up your staff’s time to focus on the more important stuff, like fighting hunger.
2. Prompt Volunteer Shift Scheduling
Another major inefficiency that many nonprofits face is the issue of creating volunteer schedules. You know how it goes- volunteers commit to a block of time, but many back out later or don’t show up. This can throw off your organization’s plans and procedures, and it’s simply a recurring headache that comes with managing volunteers. Fortunately, volunteer management software allows volunteers to schedule themselves. They can find time slots that align with their personal schedules and cancel shifts when they need to. This not only saves your organization time, but it also makes your volunteers feel more empowered and responsible within the organization.
3. Quick and Easy Two-Way Communication with Volunteers
During shifts, communicating with volunteers is key to keeping everyone on the same page and reducing confusion that can lead to costly mistakes and inefficiencies. Real-time, two-way communication between staff and volunteers, ensures that volunteers can get prompt answers to questions that arise on the job, and any issues that occur can be dealt with swiftly. Supporting your volunteer in their work is absolutely essential to ensuring they feel equipped to tackle any problem that comes their way, even when they are out in the community delivering food.
4. Effective Maintenance of Volunteer Engagement
While recruitment is key in obtaining new volunteers, maintaining volunteers in the long-run should be a priority for every nonprofit. High turnover rates of volunteers leads to constant training, costing your organization valuable time and money. Retaining volunteers doesn’t have to mean offering costly incentives and prizes. Instead, volunteers stay when they feel engaged and appreciated. Volunteer management software can play a critical role in this too.
Volunteer management software, like the one offered from InitLive, allows you to keep track of notes about your volunteers and monitor their performance. From there, you can see who your top performers are and send them personalized words of encouragement and praise. These small messages can go a long way in the hearts and minds of your volunteers.
5. Seamless Data Management and Reporting
Along with keeping your volunteers engaged, volunteer management software makes keeping track of data easy. With volunteer management software, you can see how many hours each volunteer has worked, as well as data on collective volunteer impact. You can then share that data on social media or in a yearly report, which could provide momentum and motivation for current volunteers, and encourage new people to sign up. Not to mention, current and potential donors love data, especially data that displays evidence of the impact your organization makes for the community it serves.