Why A Volunteer Manager Is So Important To Your Organization

Why A Volunteer Manager Is So Important To Your Organization

Why A Volunteer Manager Is So Important To Your Organization

A volunteer manager could be the difference between a great experience and an underwhelming experience. Every successful event needs someone who has knowledge of the pertinent location, resources, externalities, and leadership ability to best guide other volunteers.

Below is everything you need to know about what to look for in an ideal volunteer manager.

Volunteer Manager Job Description

A volunteer manager needs to wear many hats. They need to have the managerial and soft-skills to work with volunteers, and they also need the administrative experience to align the goals of the organization with volunteering efforts.

A volunteer manager will need to:

  • Actively participates in the  volunteer recruitment process 
  • Understands training levels of volunteers and takes steps to improve their capabilities 
  • Is willing to work with administrators to develop a volunteer recognition program
  • Actively uses social media to propagate events, activities, workshops, recruit talent for future volunteering 
  • Learns and masters different software for event management, ticketing, or scheduling. ACME ticketing provides all of these services and more, so your volunteer managers have all the tools they need to facilitate a successful event.
  • Utilizes various volunteer and event data to report back to stakeholders

Sociable and organized individuals with 

Volunteer manager typical qualifications

At a baseline, having previous management experience is necessary since it checks off most of your other prerequisites. Experience with financial reporting and other budget responsibilities are also highly valued. 

  • At a minimum, volunteer managers need to have a bachelor or masters in a relevant field. Common subjects of study are social work, human resources, hospitality, and business administration.
  • Digitally savvy: Ability to work with different applications and software
  • Prior event planning and curating experience
  • Ability to stand, drive, walk, and be outdoors for prolonged periods of time.
  • Team player, prior examples of good professional relationships

You don’t necessarily need to check off all the qualifications listed above. You should look out for demonstrable passion for the industry and a strong motivation to learn above skill sets.

Typical duties and responsibilities

A volunteer manager needs to be versatile while being in charge of other volunteers. The range of duties requires ample brainstorming, improvisation, and collaboration: 

  • Coordinate with other organization leaders to develop a volunteer recruiting, training, and retaining strategy.
  • Create event policies, guidelines, and risk assessments for every event.
  • Monitor and guide fellow volunteers during events. 
  • Understand ticket software and be able to navigate through it seamlessly.
  • Utilize data from the ticketing and management software to understand ticket volume data, create reports, and analyze metrics.

Volunteer managers provide a huge help in achieving a nonprofit’s goals and actualizing institutional campaigns, making the role attractive to many candidates. Apart from the previously mentioned duties, volunteer managers need to be cognizant of the time and resources many volunteers sacrifice. 

Why Is Volunteer Management so important to Your Organization

Volunteers cycle through low-high volumes of work. Hence, it is crucial to tailor the activities of volunteers. For example, a customer-facing experience for volunteers might be efficient with more in-person activities during the holiday and vacation periods. 

When volunteers excel, so does your organization. Since the start of the pandemic, nonprofits reported at least double the number of volunteers. Volunteers have contributed nearly $200 billion and an average of 52 hours per person during that time, and they’re able to succeed, in part, because of effective management. 

Emphasizing time contribution as valuable

The main benefit of having volunteer managers is time optimization. There are two clear ways in which volunteer managers save time. 

First, volunteer managers save upper management the effort that goes into training and mentoring new volunteers. Secondly, Volunteer Managers help tremendously by collecting, processing, and reporting data for time-saving operations improvement. 

Attracting/recruiting new volunteers

A volunteer manager can make giant strides in building the reputation of a good work environment. A fully functional, happy, and productive team of volunteers is only going to attract similar individuals. Apart from this organic path, you can attract volunteers through: 

  • Having a public volunteer recognition program (through various media outlets)
  • Collaborating with local businesses: brand affiliation is powerful
  • Holding social gatherings with a theme: individuals with common interests will be encouraged to volunteer together. Moreover, many people volunteer to meet like-minded people. 
  • Partnering up with local education institutions, which are great places to start garnering young talent.

Engaging/praising/empowering volunteers to do their best work

Volunteer engagement is robust when there is clear communication between the volunteers and the volunteer managers. Volunteers need to be matched with causes and events that are aligned to their interests and passion. Other pertinent points are noted below: 

  • Personally thank volunteers for their time and contributions. 
  • Give them personal attention when needed.
  • Fund self-improvement or educational endeavors. 

Having no clear role when mentoring and rewarding volunteers can lead to loss of morale, disengagement, and ultimately turnover of quality volunteers. 

Retaining volunteers for future works

When you engage, support, and align volunteers with their interests and qualifications, retention becomes a downhill battle. 

One important point for retention is maintaining communication and sense of community. Keep volunteers in your social circle. Incentivize them to return by offering them additional opportunities, access to membership benefits, and access to future events. 

Communication of new volunteer opportunities and current events

New volunteer opportunities and current events dispersion is best done today through a digital medium. Most local governments have postings on the internet. Social media sites are pooling with similar opportunities, so you should be taking a multi-pronged online approach to meet volunteers on online forums, social media sites, and volunteer posting sites. 

Recognition of Volunteers

It is important to note that every volunteer is different. Volunteer managers should take the time to learn the motivation of why someone is volunteering and reward them accordingly. 

Based on the motivations of various volunteers, some examples of rewards could be: 

  • Keep transparent track of volunteer efforts and reward the most committed volunteers through monthly awards (ex: gift cards, free tickets). 
  • Help them develop a community with like-minded volunteers by hosting various meetups and activities. (This is a great way to meet new potential volunteers too.)
  • Donate to your volunteers’ charity of choice.

Another core principle: clearly align the tasks of the volunteers to the objective of your nonprofit/cultural organization. A misalignment might cause volunteers to spend their time with better-suited organizations. 

How to Look for a Great Volunteer Manager for Your Organization

Because every organization is different and has different needs, there are no hard and fast rules for finding your ideal volunteer manager. However, the guideline presented above should give you a good start at identifying some of the most common skills, qualifications, and experiences you’d want out of a volunteer manager.

Once you’ve found the ideal candidate, you want them to succeed. With ACME, your volunteer managers will have everything they need to manage events, build members and donors, schedule their ticketing needs, and empower their volunteers through an advanced ticketing system.

Try ACME today to learn more about how we can help your volunteer managers today.

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