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The Future of Volunteer Management


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Technology trends are continuously changing and improving the way we work and communicate with each other. Staying on top of these trends is essential in developing new strategies for attracting, engaging, and retaining volunteers. Join the founders of Kindness Connect, Jonathan Burns and Kevan Osmond, as they explore these changes and how you can best utilize new and affordable technology to maintain an effective and engaged volunteer program.

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The Future of Volunteer Management

  1. 1. The Future of Volunteer Management
  2. 2. Jonathan Burns & Kevan Osmond TODAY’S PRESENTERS
  3. 3. WEBINAR REMINDERS • You can hear us, but we can’t hear you • Have questions? Type questions in the Questions Log • Turn up your computer’s volume • For the best webinar experience, close all other applications • Webinar slides will be shared 2
  4. 4. WHAT IS CANADAHELPS? • A public charitable foundation and registered charity • Through, anyone can donate to any registered Canadian charity online • We have facilitated over $390 million in charitable donations online since our launch in 2000 • 14,500 charities use us to collect donations and fundraise online • Over 850,000 Canadians have donated through CanadaHelps • For donors, CanadaHelps is a one-stop-shop for giving. For charities, CanadaHelps is an online fundraising solution that is affordable, easy and secure WELCOME TO GIVING MADE SIMPLE!
  5. 5. 4
  6. 6. Jonathan Burns and Kevan Osmond The Future of Volunteer Management
  8. 8. Agenda 1 Who we are Current state of volunteer management Trends in technology and volunteerism Strategies to maintain an engaged program 2 3 4
  9. 9. Who We Are
  10. 10. Jonand Kevan Met while volunteering at the University of Waterloo. A little bitabout us We are avid volunteers with a strong grasp of the ecosystem from a volunteer perspective. Our passion for volunteerism led us to help improve the ecosystem by answering one question: How can we make volunteering easier?
  11. 11. We worked closely with community organizations at a local and national level Andfocused onthe followingquestions: 1 What is your workflow? What are your goals and needs? What could be improved? What are your pain points? 2 3 4
  12. 12. Anexample “Often the phone is ringing off the hook with people who want to volunteer and I panic, not knowing what to tell them. I don’t really have the time to repeatedly go through all of the details and requirements. I often feel like I’m then serving the volunteer rather than the organization and cause. It would be great if I had a way to automate this and easily manage my volunteers.”
  13. 13. Here’s What We Found There are barriers from both the volunteer and community organization perspective that directly and negatively affect the volunteer ecosystem. The way we work and engage has changed and will continue to change.
  14. 14. Lookingforward, the future of volunteer management must focus on the following: 1 Removing the barriers for both sides of the equation Creating an engaged community Making it easy Keeping it accessible 2 3 4
  15. 15. Current State
  16. 16. The volunteer program workflow Attract • Promoting your organization and opportunities • Selecting the channels to reach potential volunteers • Reviewing applications and determining the right fit Manage •Tracking volunteer information and activities • Organizing and executing opportunities for volunteers • Developing volunteers through training Retain • Establishing volunteer recognition • Engaging and communicating with volunteers • Distilling analytics into actionable information Attrac t ManageRetain
  17. 17. + Thereare two sides to the equation Community Organizations Volunteers
  18. 18. Community Organizations
  19. 19. Attract • Difficult to present all of the necessary information up-front. • A lengthy discovery and application process doesn’t always result in the right fit. Manage • Prohibitively priced and challenging systems lead to makeshift and outdated solutions. • Difficulty keeping track of current and accurate volunteer activity. Time is spent “trying to keep up”. • “Scheduling is a nightmare”. OrganizationChallenges (1) 57% of community organizations report difficulty attracting volunteers (National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations)
  20. 20. Retain • Finding effective ways to communication with volunteers. Response rate is low and can feel like a one way street. • Over 80% of organizations indicate that they don’t have the time or resources to maintain a recognition and engagement program. (2013 Volunteer Recognition Study by Volunteer Canada) • Crucial questions providing insight go unanswered: Why did a volunteer leave? Did they enjoy their time? Would they recommend it? OrganizationChallenges (2) 49% of community organizations report difficulty retaining volunteers (National Survey of Nonprofit and Voluntary Organizations)
  21. 21. Volunteers
  22. 22. Volunteer Barriers (1) Difficulty knowing where to get started • 24% of non-volunteers don’t volunteer because they don’t know how to get started. (Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating) Perceived barriers associated with volunteering • Lack of information from the beginning can make a big difference in whether an individual volunteers or attempts to do so. • Uncertainty with the time it takes to become a volunteer, financial costs associated with volunteering such as transportation, etc. Complicated and disconnected Application processes • Call a phone number, fill out a form, visit a website, attend a session. Each time the process is different and requires repeating the same information over and over again. • The length and challenge of the application process from both sides can potentially encourage long-term requirements.
  23. 23. Difficulty Finding a fit with their schedule Non-volunteers • 62% didn’t volunteer because they couldn’t make a long-term commitment. • 68% didn’t volunteer because they didn’t feel like they had the time. (Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating) Current volunteers • 52% didn’t volunteer more because they couldn’t make a long-term commitment. • 75% didn’t volunteer more because they didn’t feel like they had the time. (Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating) 10% of volunteers do 53% of the volunteer work (Canadian Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating) Volunteer Barriers (2)
  24. 24. Trends
  25. 25. 1 Demographic Social Technological Desired volunteering 2 3 4 There are changing trends at play which affect the entire volunteer ecosystem
  26. 26. The number of people retiring is growing faster than any other group in Canada • There are nearly 10 million baby boomers in or planning for retirement. • They are now in the position to contribute time and resources. Millennials are eager to engage with the nonprofit world • This group is keen on finding a good fit, contributing, and seeing tangible results. • They are working towards a professional career but are also interested in connecting with a cause. DemographicTrends1
  27. 27. Social networks are the communication channel of choice • Today’s generations now have a great variety of apps and services to communicate with each other. We are connected to a wider and more diverse audience • Our communities are no longer limited to the physical space around us. Engagement is changing • Individuals want to connect, engage in conversation, and share a story with an organization or cause. SocialTrends2
  28. 28. Technologyis becomingmore accessible • From a cost, quantity, and user experience perspective. • Most applications run in the cloud, removing in-house hardware and technical requirements. Informationcan be sharedacross multiple sources • Data can easily be shared among popular applications. TechnologicalTrends (1)3
  29. 29. Automation& micro-personalization • Mass messaging can now be personalized. • Personalized user experiences can improve engagement. Dataisbecoming more accessible and important • Organizations have the ability to collect more data which, when analyzed, can help intelligently answer important questions. TechnologicalTrends (2)3
  30. 30. Trends in desired volunteering (1)4 Shortterm volunteer opportunitiesare increasingindemand • Individuals are constrained by time, and often looking to volunteer intermittently within their schedule constraints. Corporationsare getting involvedas well • It is slowly becoming the norm for corporations to recognize and encourage volunteer work (even paid time off).
  31. 31. Trends in desired volunteering (2)4 Virtualvolunteerism (ormicro-volunteering) • A large percentage of our time is spent in front of a screen (computer, laptop, smartphone, etc), and a large amount of work can be accomplished online. • Volunteers are now looking for ways to complete volunteer work off-site for an organization. • This is a great way to get access to skilled labour.
  32. 32. Strategies
  33. 33. The volunteer program workflow With change comes new challenges and reasons to adapt. How can you best utilize new strategies and affordable technology to maintain and effective an engaged volunteer program? Attrac t ManageRetain
  34. 34. Attract ManageRetain
  35. 35. Trynew approaches to get volunteers in the door • Leverage technology to help facilitate short term engagements so volunteers can get their foot in the door before making a more meaningful commitment. • i.e. Doodle Strategies > Attract (1)
  36. 36. Makeuse of your volunteer’s social networks • Your volunteers are eager to share their stories of goodwill – help give them an outlet to inspire their friends. • Follow them and they will follow you! • i.e. Twitter and Facebook are social, Hootsuite helps you manage them all Strategies > Attract (2)
  37. 37. Strategies > Attract (3) • Can they get all the information they need online? • Use online tools to save you and your volunteers time by exchanging all the necessities up front. • i.e. Survey Monkey Help improve the tedious application process
  38. 38. Strategies > Attract (4) • This availability heuristic can help potential volunteers identify with your cause. • Make sure your website is easy to manage so that you can easily include and update information. • i.e. Virb, WordPress Share and highlight volunteer stories and experiences
  39. 39. Attract ManageRetain
  40. 40. Strategies > Manage (1) • Integrate software to help keep your program organized and automate timely reminders. • i.e. Evernote, Evernote Hello, Insightly Stayup-to-date on program information and important volunteer milestones
  41. 41. Strategies > Manage (2) Share calendars with your volunteers so they are reminded of important events • E-Calendars are a great way to raise awareness of upcoming events at a macro level and useful for reminders at a micro level. • i.e. Google Calendar • Standardized protocols will integrate with any modern platform.
  42. 42. Strategies > Manage (3) Standardize activity tracking to facilitate future reporting • Get in the habit of proper book-keeping so that end of year reporting can be achieved effectively. • i.e. Microsoft Excel (caution)
  43. 43. Attract ManageRetain
  44. 44. Strategies > Retain (1) Keepup communication • Make use of online forums and groups where volunteers can connect with each other and your organization outside of ‘time-in- office’. • i.e. Facebook Groups, Internal Web Forum • Get feedback from your volunteers. • i.e. Survey Monkey
  45. 45. Strategies > Retain (2) Turn your volunteers into leaders • Empower your volunteers to help share and recruit for your cause. • They’ll be proud to share your story. • Propagates across their own personal networks. • i.e. TIFF Example
  46. 46. Strategies > Retain (3) Ensure volunteers feel personally appreciated and valuable to your cause • 80% stated that they would like to be recognized or thanked by the organization they volunteer for by hearing about how their work has made a difference. (2013 Volunteer Recognition Study – Volunteer Canada) • Close to 70% stated they would like to be recognized by being thanked on an ongoing, informal basis. (2013 Volunteer Recognition Study – Volunteer Canada) • Automate your personalized correspondence. • i.e. MailChimp, GroupMail
  47. 47. For Consideration As demonstrated, there are wealth of tools available for ‘niche’ areas, however, the disconnected processes can become a timely and unorganized endeavor. Certain industries have enterprise software to aggregate all of the tools you need in one central location, achieving ‘data economies-of- scale’.
  48. 48. Solutions for the bigger picture There are solutions available that can help manage some of the explored areas including Volunteer2, Volgistics, and Raiser’s Edge Volunteer Module. Kindness Connect is the first platform of its kind, merging volunteer management and recruitment in one central location. Pay-What-You-Can pricing ensures it is accessible for all organizations in need. We recommend reviewing each individually to determine the best fit for your needs.
  49. 49. Our goal is to provide the enterprise platform that automates and facilitates volunteer and organization needs. Organizations Pay-what-you-can Volunteers Find your match Fit your schedule Apply directly Track your impact1 2 3 4 Volunteer Profiles Simple Scheduling NotificationsMessaging AnalyticsApplication Review
  50. 50. In Summary
  51. 51. In the current state of volunteerism there is much room for improvement – you are the gatekeepers. There are changing trends at play which affect the entire volunteer ecosystem: • Demographic • Social • Technological • Desired Volunteering Make use of new strategies to ensure you stay on top of these trends and have an effective and engaged volunteer program. Takeaways 1 2 3
  52. 52. Thank-you!
  53. 53. More Charity Training
  54. 54. MYCHARITYCONNECTS Educational and training opportunities through MyCharityConnects
  55. 55. UPCOMING WEBINARS Top 5 Email Fundraising Tips by guest speaker Taslim Somani Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 Time: 2:00-3:00PM Eastern Time Google Analytics 101 by guest speaker Kathryn Snetsinger Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2014 Time: 2:00-3:00PM Eastern Time
  56. 56. STAY IN TOUCH @canadahelps 1-877-755-1595 Jonathan Burns Kevan Osmond