9 Problems You May Be Facing With Your Current Volunteer Management Process  

9 Problems You May Be Facing With Your Current Volunteer Management Process

Having an efficient volunteer management process is important for creating long-lasting volunteer relationships and recruiting new volunteers. To best manage your team of volunteers, you should aim for organization and strive for a streamlined management process. With your system, volunteers should be able to do everything they need to, from signing in to filling out forms to communicating to scheduling. However, managing a team of volunteers often comes with some complications, and you might be facing some common volunteer management process problems. You can alleviate many of these issues with dependable volunteer management software. 

Identifying Problems With Your Volunteer Management 

If your organization relies on work from some of the 25% of Americans who volunteer, then having an efficient and reliable volunteer management process is essential. You want your team to focus on serving the needs of your organization best. You may be able to counteract your organization’s problems with volunteer management software like Volgistics. Volgistics makes it easy to manage your organization’s volunteers and helps you make the most of your and their time!

Be aware of the following problems and learn how you can fix them. 

1. It’s Hard to Communicate With Volunteers

Communicating with your volunteers is crucial to ensuring the success of your organization’s mission. With your current volunteer management process, you might be spending a lot of time sending emails or calling and texting your volunteers to make them aware of schedule changes or updates. You might get frustrated if they don’t pick up the phone or answer your email.

Having a centralized way of connecting with your volunteers saves time and builds community within your team. If your volunteers have a problem that needs to be addressed or a specific interest in a particular field, you’ll want to know!

Additionally, having a system in place to communicate with your staff members is helpful for new volunteers. When new people enter your organization, they will feel more comfortable asking questions and being active members of your volunteer staff if there’s a clear communication process. Volunteering somewhere new can be a daunting experience, and you can help your new volunteers feel welcome by making it easy to communicate.

With Volgistics volunteer management systems, you can text and email your volunteers and make sure they see important messages. Text messaging with Volgistics is entirely free but requires access to the Volgistics volunteer portal. 

Communication also includes making contact with potential volunteers. You always want new people to join your organization, but one problem your volunteer management process might face is being difficult for new members to figure out how to join. Make sure to put a page on your organization’s website detailing how people can get involved if they’re interested.

2. It’s a Challenge to Gather Data or Collect Important Documents

Maybe it’s challenging to gather data about your volunteers with your current volunteer management process. Tracking data is very important for several reasons, including knowing your volunteers’ availability, general location, jobs, and unique skills. With this information, you can communicate with your volunteers more effectively, build personal connections with them, and better match projects to their skills. With an online volunteer management system, you no longer have to dedicate so much time to keeping track of data manually

It’s challenging to keep all of your volunteers’ records straight and organized if you’re only using physical copies — especially as your organization grows. With volunteer management software, your volunteers can input their own information, and the system will gather it and keep it in order. You can store data electronically and scan physical documents for electronic storage. You’ll never lose important papers and can be confident that your documents are easily accessible whenever you might need them.

Using software to track data and store volunteer documents means you can spend time doing more important tasks. Think about how much you could accomplish if you didn’t need to keep track of paperwork or collect data physically. You could more easily match volunteers to tasks that excite them, create necessary reports quickly, and spend less time checking documents before a project.

3. You Have Difficulty Using Volunteer Skills Effectively

One of the common problems volunteer organizations face is not using volunteer skills effectively. As mentioned above, when recruiting groups of people for your organization’s volunteer efforts, it’s valuable to try and match volunteers to projects related to their skills. Your volunteers will probably be more excited about their work if they can do something they’re good at and enjoy doing. Using their skills effectively might also encourage volunteers to stay with your organization long-term. If they feel they’re making a difference, they’ll want to continue their volunteer service with you!

Working with your volunteers’ skills can also help your organization run more smoothly. If one of your projects involves planning an event, knowing if any of your volunteers have a background in event planning can save you a lot of time in the long run. Additionally, playing to their strengths gives volunteers leadership opportunities within your organization because they might be better suited to lead projects if they have a particular skill in that area. 

With a robust volunteer management system, you can gauge your team’s existing skills and any skills they want to build, creating an encouraging and inspiring environment in your organization. 

It's Hard to Coordinate Groups of Volunteers

4. It’s Hard to Coordinate Groups of Volunteers

If you’re facing difficulty communicating with volunteers, you may also have a hard time coordinating your groups of volunteers for different projects or goals. This is important to ensure you have enough volunteers for the other projects you’re running. 

When you struggle to coordinate groups of volunteers, your focus shifts from completing a project successfully to just making sure you have the minimum number of volunteers to complete a project at all. Coordination can be a problem regardless of your project’s scope, but it’s especially vital with a more extensive project requiring a big team of people. Volunteer managers coordinating a team effectively can significantly impact your organization’s ability to complete tasks.

Your volunteers’ time is valuable, so using it mindfully is essential. Efficient coordination is just as important to their time as yours. With Volgistics’ scheduling software, it’s easy to stay on top of scheduling. 

5. It’s Challenging to Engage With Volunteers Consistently

Engaging with your volunteers is crucial to keeping them involved in and passionate about your organization’s mission and can help them avoid volunteer burnout. Some symptoms of volunteer burnout include

  • Chronic stress
  • Exhaustion
  • Cynicism
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness 
  • Loss of enjoyment in volunteer work

Knowing the signs of volunteer burnout is incredibly important. If your volunteers are burnt out, your organization’s impact may suffer, and your volunteer team might not feel accomplished or happy in their work anymore, which no one wants. Volunteering is supposed to help mental health, not take a toll on it. 

Engaging with your volunteers means checking on how they are doing with their workload, assessing the impact they think they’re making, getting feedback for your organization, and showing them you care about their mental well-being. To do this, make sure they have an easy way to contact you and express any concerns. 

6. Your Volunteers Have Difficulty Logging Their Hours

With certain volunteer management programs, it’s difficult for volunteers to log their sign-in times and their hours. This can be frustrating for volunteers who want to keep track of how often they volunteer with your organization, and it can pose a problem for your organization when gathering data. If you want to know how much time your volunteers spend at your organization, make it easy and convenient for them to log their hours.

The method for logging volunteer hours should also be consistent. Your organization can use Volgistics’ VicTouch — an onsite kiosk for volunteers to sign in and out. With VicTouch, volunteers can access their schedule as well as schedule openings and open messages from you. Building a sign-in process for your volunteers is also a great way to help them get into the “volunteer mindset” during their shift, just like they were clocking in for a job. Once they’ve signed in, it’s a mental cue that it’s time to get working!

Your Volunteers Can't Effectively Communicate With One Another

7. Your Volunteers Can’t Effectively Communicate With One Another

Making it easy for your volunteers to talk to one another can help build community in your organization. A team that gets along is often more productive! Additionally, giving a leader of volunteers the ability to communicate directly with their team can be a powerful tool for coordination.

One of the best things about volunteering is that it connects people. It’s why a lot of people dedicate their time to different causes. In addition to the good feeling you get from volunteering, it’s a fun way to meet new people and make new friends who care about some of the same things you do. Building a platform for volunteers to text or e-mail with one another can help build camaraderie among your volunteer team.

8. You Don’t Offer Resources or Growth Opportunities for Your Volunteers

One of the best ways to maximize the potential of your volunteer management process is by offering resources for your volunteers. Some resources you could offer to your volunteers include: 

  • Articles about your industry 
  • Proof of the impact their volunteer work is having
  • Opportunities for volunteer growth
  • Clear procedures for your organization’s workings

Many volunteers already have busy lives aside from donating their time to your organization, so giving them resources can help them feel appreciated. It’s also a good idea to make them aware of leadership opportunities in your organization in case they’re interested in becoming a leader of volunteers in the future.

9. Your Recruitment Process Is Unclear or Difficult to Understand 

The first step of your volunteer management system is recruitment! If you have problems at this stage, it’s going to be extremely difficult for you to grow your volunteer base. Word-of-mouth can be an excellent tool, but to make your recruitment process even stronger you should have a clear description of your volunteer responsibilities outlined and easily accessible on your website. 

Following the recruitment process is the training period. Some organizations may face issues at this stage of the volunteer management process as well if they don’t have the necessary time or resources for proper training. To help your volunteers feel prepared, dedicate adequate time to ensure they are trained properly. 

With Volgistics’ recruiting software, your organization can advertise new openings, insert applications onto your website and let your volunteers self-schedule. You can show a wealth of opportunities to encourage people to get involved in your different projects and fundraisers. 

Why an Organized Volunteer Management Program Is Important

Why an Organized Volunteer Management Program Is Important 

Smooth operations are key to any organization’s success, and this extends to the volunteer management program. The common thread woven between all of the problems we’ve outlined regarding volunteer management programs is organization. Organization matters at every level, including scheduling, recruiting, communication, and event sign-in. With volunteer management software, you can stay efficient and organized.

Organization is also important for outlining volunteer expectations. If your expectations for their work are unclear, it may seem like volunteers aren’t performing well when they’re just unclear about their role and what’s expected of them. Additionally, being organized is incredibly important for holding volunteers accountable. If your guidelines are clearly defined and some volunteers still don’t meet them — perhaps they routinely don’t show up when they are scheduled or when they say they will — you’ll recognize it and be able to communicate your concerns with them if your resources are organized. 

The Volgistics volunteer management software helps you stay organized with services such as volunteer scheduling and tracking, a volunteer database, volunteer recruiting, document storage, and multi-site capabilities. With Volgistics, spend less time sending emails and keeping track of documents and more time meeting goals and completing projects! 

Learn How Volgistics Can Help Strengthen Your Volunteer Management Program

Issues with your volunteer management processes can negatively affect your organization’s efficiency and ability to meet your goals and objectives. A smooth volunteer management system is essential to keeping current volunteer staff and recruiting new volunteers. If volunteer work is vital to your organization’s operations, researching software for volunteer management is invaluable. 

At the time of this writing, Volgistics is currently helping over 5,000 organizations around the world track more than 6 million volunteers. If you’re interested in learning more about Volgistics, contact us online today. If you’re ready to try Volgistics, unlock your 30-day free trial and start tracking your volunteers in minutes.

Learn How Volgistics Can Help Strengthen Your Volunteer Management Program