The Head of Product Management at Bloomerang Volunteer, Melissa Pinard, shared her expertise with some Best Practices for managing nonprofit volunteers, emphasizing the significance of job descriptions, volunteer appreciation, orientation, goal setting, and budgeting. This lively discussion sheds light on the critical aspects of volunteer management, ultimately helping organizations build successful volunteer programs.
Melissa emphasized the importance of creating detailed job descriptions for volunteers, enabling them to self-screen and have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. This helps eliminate administrative challenges and ensures a strong volunteer fit. She suggested including information such as hours, frequency, qualifications, and reporting structure in the descriptions.
Melissa also stressed the significance of valuing volunteers and fostering strong relationships with them. She highlighted the need for continuous appreciation and recognition, which can be done through various strategies such as thank-you notes, public acknowledgments, certificates, tracking and communicating their impact, and hosting appreciation events.
This fun episode also covered the importance of providing volunteer orientation, both in-person and digitally. Melissa explained that orientations help volunteers feel more comfortable and prepared for their roles, reduce disorganization, and address important issues such as safety and compliance.
Defining goals and measuring success was another key aspect discussed. Melissa emphasized the need to set clear goals and metrics for volunteer programs, which may include volunteer satisfaction ratings, attendance rates, recruitment efforts, retention rates, and turnover analysis.
Melissa and the co-hosts explored the importance of creating a budget for managing volunteers, emphasizing that even though they offer their time for free, there are typically costs to consider, such as volunteer management systems, recruitment and training materials, background checks, and even volunteer recognition.