Volunteer Management Challenges

5 Facts About Management Challenges

There are so many common problems with volunteer management that every administrator can relate to. Whether you struggle to recruit new volunteers or fight an ongoing lack of resources, these issues can frustrate even the most productive charities. We’ve compiled some of the biggest challenges you can face and a few possible solutions.

1. Too Much to Do and Too Little Time to Do It

Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Many volunteer managers believe that there are too many demands on their time. They find it difficult to concentrate on a single task when volunteers interrupt their work with questions and others at the nonprofit look to them to solve volunteer quandaries. Trying new time management solutions and setting up better volunteer training may help address some of these matters.

2. Difficulty Recruiting

Another one of the top issues with volunteer management is securing resources and finding the right places to recruit. Bringing new volunteers to your organization helps sustain your many outreach efforts. You need to continue to bring in new people to replace the ones who leave and expand your assistance opportunities. You may think you lack the time, money or reach to recruit new people, but try thinking creatively to gain new volunteers:

  • Reach out to colleges, millennials or retirement communities
  • Talk to people at your children’s schools
  • Bring up volunteering at your own extracurricular activities

3. Lack of Resources

Nonprofits experience a constant pinch on finances. There’s never enough money to finance everything you want to do, and volunteer programs often receive the first cuts. While volunteers may assist you for free, good training programs do require investment from your organization. Make a list of the ways volunteers save your organization money, and show that list when you argue for funding for training. It may not make a difference at first, but in the long term, you could win at least a few more resources.

With a volunteer management system like Volgistics, you can quickly calculate things like FTEs (full-time equivalents) and dollar values for hours served.

4. Gauging Volunteers’ Sense of Responsibility

Every organization has a group of A-level volunteers it knows can assist with anything. Identifying those volunteers can prove tricky, however. It takes time to recognize how reliable someone is, and sometimes you don’t have the luxury of waiting before you assign a higher-level task. You may have to take a chance on someone and see how it plays out.

5. Too Many People Offering Volunteers Guidance

Another one of volunteer management’s most common issues is figuring out the volunteer chain of command. While ideally, you would head-up communication as the volunteer manager, too often your volunteers hear a lot of input on what they should be doing from lots of different people. And often what they hear is different from person to person. This situation makes it difficult for volunteers to know who to listen to, so you should remind them of the chain of command when possible.

Sooner or later, you’ll likely face all of the above challenges. It’s how you deal with them that counts. If you want to make your job easier, you can invest in volunteer management software like Volgistics. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a live demo.

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