Any organizer knows how important it is to keep volunteer availabilities updated. Because of the volunteer workforce’s role in calculating a business’s ROI, keeping up with schedules and other important volunteer information at every step is essential. Read on to discover why collecting availability from your volunteers is crucial for success.
Simply put, you don’t want to recruit volunteers who can’t attend the event. So at the beginning of recruitment, make sure you have volunteers fill out an online version of the application where they note their skills and their anticipated availability. And because many of today’s top volunteers are young people with ever-changing schedules, you’ll want to request updates frequently. For instance, if you’re planning for an event nine months out, send out automated reminders (like Bloomerang Volunteer’s shift confirmations) at least every three months for your volunteers to update their availability.
It’s a good idea to have your applicants fill out their anticipated schedules on the initial application for training and orientation week, even if those meetings seem to be in the distant future. Online tutorials are also essential training tools, but in some cases, there is no substitute for on-site meetings. In particular, if you give your volunteers a hands-on briefing for any part of the event, your volunteers must attend.
Scheduling for the big day
If you’re keeping up with your volunteers’ schedules and contact information throughout the planning stages, scheduling shifts for the big day is a breeze. Your volunteer staff will be trained and personally briefed, so organizing them into work areas that correspond to their skills, preparation, and experience will be easy. Plus, you can plan for backup in case volunteers are late or cancel.
Last-minute changes on event day
Finally, if something happens on event day and certain volunteers don’t show up, using a real-time scheduling and communication tool like Bloomerang Volunteer helps you see where your schedule gaps are when volunteers don’t check in so you can quickly find available replacements. Likewise, if it turns out that one of your stations requires more volunteer attention (i.e. registration line-ups are bottlenecked), use Bloomerang Volunteer to identify all available and qualified volunteers and instantly assign them.
Bloomerang Volunteer is a web and mobile tool that lets you manage every aspect of event planning. You can keep track of availability updates, gather contact information, provide online training, create and store evaluation tools, and engage in real-time communications. With Bloomerang Volunteer, you’ll have each part of your event strategy accessible on one device to ensure your volunteers are trained, scheduled, and ready to go.
Bloomerang is a cloud-based donor management software that helps nonprofits increase donor retention and fundraising success. Its comprehensive features include donor database management, email marketing, online giving, volunteer management, and reporting tools, all designed to streamline fundraising efforts and build lasting relationships.