NCVS - Engage the volunteer of the future

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NCVS - Engage the volunteer of the future

  1. 1. Engage the volunteer of the future!Jennifer Bennett, CVA@JenBennettCVA#VMLearn - VolunteerMatch
  2. 2. What are we talking about?• Moving beyond “Volunteers Needed”• How do volunteers find you? How canyou find them?• Finding the right volunteers• Create Connection• Building a culture of involvement,flexibility and understanding• What next?(page 2 #VMLearn)
  3. 3. “Volunteers Needed”What does your volunteer program look liketo a volunteer?• Cul-de-sac• Nowhere to go when you get there• Country Road• If you hang in there it goes somewhere,eventually• Highway• It’s a direct route to impact and engagementVolunteers have a choice!(page 3 #VMLearn)
  4. 4. (page 4 #VMLearn)This is not your mother’svolunteeringShifts in generations create a new model• Volunteers hope to make an impact• Volunteer task lists replaced by meaningful,targeted work, skills based• Meaningful to the volunteer, important to theorganization• Volunteers need flexibility• Does not imply that they can’t be dependable,reliable, accountable• Volunteers want to understand• Answer the question “Why?”
  5. 5. (page 5 #VMLearn)How do volunteers find you?80% of Volunteer Coordinators tell us the“Word of Mouth” is their #1 recruitmentmethodWhat are your volunteers saying about yourorganization? What can you do about it?
  6. 6. (page 6 #VMLearn)• You can create a positive experience• Meaningful and important• The right volunteer in the right job• Saying no politely and professionally• Make it easier for volunteers to share• Arm them with information• Social media• Don’t keep them in a siloPros and Cons of “WoM”
  7. 7. (page 7 #VMLearn)• Passive• You can’t make your volunteers tell theirfriends, but you can encourage them• Depends on earned marketing/media• Easier now than ever – but can be negative• Doesn’t bring in volunteers who don’thave a connection or know who you arePros and Cons of “WoM”
  8. 8. (page 8 #VMLearn)What we know about volunteersVolunteerMatch by the numbers:75,586 Active opportunities nationwide6,962,317 Connections since 19982,500 Average referrals a dayAround 130 during peak hours2-3 Referrals for each visitorLots of volunteers don’t have a strong ideaabout where or how they want to volunteer.They are looking for a opportunity to makean impact and find a cause they care about.(79% and 82% Hart 2010)
  9. 9. (page 9 #VMLearn)Find the right volunteers!When inviting volunteers to participate in yourorganization finding the right fit becomes evenmore important• Know who you want• Comprehensive position descriptions: skills,experience, traits or characteristics• Create a strong foundation and manageexpectations• No bait and switch• Policies and procedures manual, NDA, Letter ofagreement
  10. 10. Create more Involvement• Training and experience pathways• Do volunteers know what they need to do to beable to fill each role in your program?• Is it clear how that happens, or is it mysteriousor based on longevity?• Do you offer those classes or have on the jobexperience checklists?•Bring more positions into your volunteerengagement program• Let volunteers help you!• Volunteers know the work that volunteers do -empower them to document or create thefoundation and flexibility you need. (page 10 #VMLearn)
  11. 11. Create more Flexibility• Are there different types of opportunities ordifferent levels of involvement available?• One size doesn’t fit all• Doesn’t allow for growth or retraction as avolunteer’s life changes• Do you offer project based opportunities, virtualopportunities, micro volunteering•Where does the rigidity come from? You,organization leadership, the past, or perceivedideas about volunteers?(page 11 #VMLearn)
  12. 12. Create more Understanding• Keep volunteers informed• New ideas or theories in your impact area• New policies, practices or projects in yourprogram• Milestones in your organization• Incorporate impact into recognition• Don’t just say thank you - share the work thevolunteer has done• Include clients in the thank you message• Spread the thank you outside of your volunteerprogram - Social media, internal and externalcommunications (page 12 #VMLearn)
  13. 13. Create the ConnectionTurn your volunteers into Advocates!• Do volunteers know your mission?•Major accomplishments, funders• Do they know about other programs?• Areas and impacts besides their own• Empower them to spread the word• Keep them up to date• Use social media• Do you know which of your volunteers are alsodonors?(page 13 #VMLearn)
  14. 14. Tools for Evolving your Program• Think strategically!• Do you have a 3 or 5 year plan for yourprogram?• Get off the hamster wheel• What type of program do you have now?• What type of program do you want to have?(page 14 #VMLearn)
  15. 15. Tools for Evolving your Program• Start with the easy (easier?) stuff• Create or document the structure that existsnow• Identify volunteer position descriptions, howthey fit together, what volunteers need to know todo them.• Don’t do this alone!• Where and why do volunteers drop out?• Ask them!• Survey past and current volunteers about whatthey like, are proud of, don’t understand aboutyour program (page 15 #VMLearn)
  16. 16. Tools for Evolving your Program• Create more flexibility• What did your volunteers tell you they wantedto do, but couldn’t - so they left?• Where does the rigidity come from? You,organization leadership, the past, or perceivedideas about volunteers?• Create a communication plan to turnvolunteers in to advocates(page 16 #VMLearn)
  17. 17. Things to Think About• You don’t have to change everything rightnow• Putting pathways in is an easier first step• Identify the priorities or critical positions• Invite volunteers to take on leadership roles• Volunteers want to tell you what they like (anddon’t like) about your program• Invite your superstar volunteers to take the lead• Share your milestones and successes withthe organization• Manager, leadership, co-workers and, of course,the volunteers!(page 17 #VMLearn)
  18. 18. Things to Think About•Share your milestones and successeswith the organization• Manager, leadership, co-workers and, ofcourse, the volunteers!(page 18 #VMLearn)
  19. 19. Questions?Jennifer Bennett, CVASenior Manager, Education & TrainingVolunteerMatch@Jen BennettCVAjbennett@volunteermatch.org(page 19 #VMLearn)
  20. 20. Enter to Win $400 Gift CardYour feedback is very important to us. Be one of thefirst 250 people to submit a workshop survey at theconclusion of each workshop block and enter to winyour choice of a $400 Hewlett-Packard gift card or 2014Conference registration. One prompt respondent willbe randomly selected for each of the five workshopblocks. Visit a Digital Lounge now and log into theConference registration website to submit yourworkshop survey.(page 20 #VMLearn)

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