Volunteer management is a complex process that requires patience, endurance, and interpersonal skills. As a volunteer manager, you need to understand the roles, responsibilities, and motivations of your volunteers to create a meaningful experience. Here are some tips for effective volunteer management:
Yes, but not everyone can manage volunteers well. Managing volunteers requires patience, interpersonal skills, endurance, and resilience. Volunteer management is different from managing paid staff because volunteers work for a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction.
No, managing volunteers is different from managing paid staff. Volunteer managers engage people to make the world a better place, without the promise of riches or rewards.
Yes, volunteers need some form of structure and focus. Good volunteer management involves leading, involving, and engaging volunteers.
Clear communication, understanding of roles and responsibilities, providing regular updates, showing appreciation, and soliciting feedback are essential for effective volunteer management. A welcoming and inclusive environment is key to successful volunteer team management.
Create meaningful roles that align with the availability, motivations, and skills of volunteers. Good roles motivate volunteers and improve volunteer engagement.
Quick tip — Focus on developing great roles before you recruit to save time and effort.
Recruit volunteers with the right skills and motivations to do specific roles. Diverse audiences provide better opportunities for finding the right people.
Quick tip — Seek the right people, but also be open and inclusive to a wide range of potential volunteers.
Provide the right support and resources for volunteers to achieve their goals. Volunteer support differs from volunteer to volunteer, so ensure you are available and accessible.
Quick tip — Build a good relationship with your volunteers and show genuine concern for them.
Good recognition acknowledges volunteers as being an important part of the team. Daily thanks you’s and the little things make volunteers feel included.
Quick tip — Tailor recognition efforts to suit different volunteers and know what thanks you’s work best.
Volunteer management systems are an easy way to centralise volunteer data, manage shifts, store documents and improve overall volunteer engagement.