Most, if not all organizations use volunteers in their day-to-day and event activities. But how do you know if your organization is utilizing its volunteers correctly? In this week’s Association Debrief, we take a look at volunteer matching and how to recruit and guide volunteers as a part of how to make volunteering work for you.
How do you maximize the potential of your volunteers? Simple – you match them with tasks that make the most of their skills. This article presents a simple, three-step process that organizations can use to match their volunteers up with the positions that are best for them, and recommends establishing a single point of contact as a volunteer manager to streamline the matching process. The matching steps include identifying organizations needs and open roles, identifying the skills and preferences of your volunteers, and matching the skill and interest to the correct need.
When you put on an event or a conference, you don’t need to use your staff to meet your customer service needs. Instead, use member volunteers. This article outlines the role the member volunteers play in providing “customer” service at events, and how several organizations are providing their members with volunteer opportunities. It uses the American Anthropological Association, Association for Continuing Higher Education, and the American Association of Geographers as examples to show how multiple organizations leverage member and attendee volunteers.
Matching volunteers with positions and tasks that are in line with their interests and skill set is important, but can be a major challenge for associations. This article takes a look at the downsides of mismatched volunteers and discusses the conclusions of a paper that both examined volunteer matching and suggested concrete steps that organizations can take to better match their volunteers with open positions. It also offers a tool, the Volunteer Interest Typology questionnaire, that volunteer managers can use to assess and correctly place new volunteers.
Not everyone who volunteers with your organization will become a leader, but those who do are worth the wait. This article discusses the role that documentation and materials play in shepherding volunteers through stages of increasing involvement, from observer to leader, and points out what materials touch the volunteer at each point in their journey. It also suggests ways to maximize the benefits of the materials volunteers touch, including putting quotes from volunteers on the back of business cards, having volunteer manager job descriptions include time to develop relationships and using volunteer agreement forms to reassure volunteers about how well their information is protected.
Wild Apricot recently held a webinar titled “How to Build An Amazing Recruitment Volunteer Strategy.” The webinar is over, but this article continues the discussion it sparked by presenting the questions and answers that the viewers and the presenter exchanged after the webinar concluded. Some question topics include how not to overwhelm volunteers with available positions, how to meet the needs of incoming volunteers, and how to get inactive volunteers to step up their involvement.