Any NGO or UN organization will know the importance of volunteers in reaching their goals. Volunteerism is the lifeblood of non-profit work and a highly valuable asset to charity efforts and the whole world. That’s where volunteer management software system comes.
Studies show that labor committed to volunteerism has a value of over $184 billion dollars.
As the average value of volunteer hours grows by the year, the need for a volunteer program strategic plan becomes more urgent. Similarly, part of the plan should be a system to better manage volunteers and their time and efforts. Thankfully, digital innovations have provided NGOs with volunteer management systems to better steward volunteers.
Volunteer management software is a system that helps volunteer managers and leaders track, measure, and report volunteer activities through a digital platform. These programs for digital volunteer management provide many benefits for both volunteers and the organization.
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Three Key Features to Look for in Volunteer Management System
When choosing a volunteer management system, always be on the lookout for these three non-negotiable features.
- Information Database stores volunteer information for background checks and evaluation.
- Time and Activity Tracking track volunteer information, activity and updates.
- Knowledge Hubs serve as a central information headquarters for volunteers to check on policies, agreements, updates, and organization progress.
- Communications and Community help volunteers communicate with the organization and co-volunteers better.
Here are seven reasons why an NGO or UN organization should use these kinds of software.
1. Simplify Operations
The goal of all technology is to simplify any operation. However, the same is true for a volunteer management program. With a digital system in place, NGOs and non-profit organizations can simplify their operations by removing manual tasks, paper trails, and needless one-on-one backs and forths with volunteers.
Cloud-based databases are accessible anytime anywhere, enabling you to keep up with various analytics, community and communications tools, and other features. Ultimately, this system for virtual volunteer management provides the tools to help make volunteering operations a lot easier.
Digitization is a way of growing an organization with the right system. With the right systems in place, organizations–whether for profit or not- will experience greater efficiency in the organization.
2. Steward Volunteers Better
It’s common practice for the non-profit sector to be good stewards of donated dollars. Charities provide financial reports and perform external audits to make sure every dollar is accounted for. But it’s baffling how many charities are unwilling to steward another valuable asset–their volunteer’s time. As of 2020, the value of a volunteer’s time was at $27 per hour.
Through the power of management information systems, charities and NGOs can better steward their volunteer’s time by knowing how much of their time they give and what that time goes to. More than a way of gathering numbers, it’s a way of staying accountable.
3. Data-driven Decisions
Learning how to recruit and retain volunteers all boils down to making good decisions, and data is crucial to making that happen in this digital age. With better data comes better reporting, impact measuring, and, thus, better decision-making.
Data is the new currency of the world we live in. For instance, companies like Facebook, Google, and Oracle have made a fortune off people’s information. Above all, if the for-profit sector can use data to grow their organizations, it should tell nonprofits that they should start using data for more altruistic purposes.
Volunteer management software system can also help store important volunteer data such as their contact details and background information for better background checks. Team leaders can also use past experience and skills to assess whether a volunteer would fill an essential role on their team.
4. Happier Volunteers
The key to happier volunteers is to help them see the impact they make on other people’s lives. Sadly, some organizations don’t have the infrastructure to measure and report that impact back to their volunteers. Up to 45% of organizations with volunteers don’t measure their volunteer impact. Most of them associate this with the lack of the right tools and resources to do so.
With volunteer management systems, organizations can get a better idea of each volunteer’s impact by providing data and analysis that will help break down insights such as their wins, accomplishments, and output. This information, when reported back to volunteers, will create a greater sense of fulfillment and happiness in volunteers.
5. Greater Clarity
On top of being a directory and data analysis platform, volunteer management software system can also serve as hubs for information and frequently asked questions. These hubs can provide important organizational information, including volunteer guidelines for nonprofit work, standard operating procedures, organization updates, and other information.
By providing one platform for all queries, questions, and information dissemination, organizations can gain more clarity and, therefore, better alignment. This effort, in turn, helps remove confusion and builds more confidence in volunteers and organizations that the activities we do on the day-to-day help contribute to the overall mission and goals of the nonprofit community.
6. Seamless Communications
Volunteer management systems can also be great tools to facilitate communication between volunteers and management as well as between volunteer to volunteer. Communication tools do more than provide a way to send out instructions and updates. When used properly, it can also serve as an extension of a virtual community that helps build more camaraderie between volunteer groups.
Community boards help facilitate collaboration and connection. In today’s COVID-19 crisis where people turn to online platforms as a way to temporarily connect via virtual means, this can provide volunteers with a great value-add. Similarly, check out this online community software compilation from FinancesOnline to get an idea of what other tools you can use to communicate with volunteers seamlessly.
7. Get More Results
Non-profit and UN organizations are using technology for philanthropic agendas for quite a while now. They use it to raise social awareness, get more donations, improve administrative operations, and engage with supporters and the general public. All in all, technology helps get better results, whether it’s more donated dollars, greater reach, or more efficient events and activities management.
Volunteer management software has the same effect. Moreover, by managing volunteers with cloud-based and digital solutions, volunteer organizations get better results, reach their goals faster, and experience more growth. The goal of any tool should be to improve the way we do things and get them done. Volunteer management tools provide the same for NGOs and UN organizations when used efficiently and consistently.
A Win-Win Situation in Volunteerism
There’s no question that volunteering provides a world of benefits to people. 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions, making employment more likely for people who volunteer their time. Volunteers are also more likely to feel happier and more fulfilled. They learn, connect, network, and learn how to work in a team all while making a difference in other people’s lives.
But with all that volunteerism has to offer, NGOs and UN organizations also have to do their part in making the experience a rewarding one for their volunteers. They provide great value to the communities they serve and the organizations they help. So it’s only proper that we give back to them too by leading and managing them well. Volunteer management software helps organizations do that by systematizing the way we operate thus making volunteering more efficient and fun.