August Webinar Preview: Creating More Engagement & Measuring Success

Learn something new. Attend a free webinar.

Summer is almost over and we’re hosting webinars you don’t want to miss. This month we’ll teach you everything you need to know to create an engaging volunteer program. We’ll cover the basics of online recruitment and advanced engagement strategies. You’ll also learn how to create program metrics in order to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of your volunteer program.

Let’s take a look.

Walking the Walk: Engage Volunteers in Your Volunteer Engagement Program

Learn how to effectively delegate volunteer engagement and management work to volunteers so you have the opportunity to “think bigger.” We’ll discuss evaluating your program for volunteer engagement, determining how best to use volunteers, creating a communication plan, screening and training volunteers to be an important part of your volunteer recruiting, retention and recognition plans.

Fighting Hunger Together:  Engage Volunteers in New Ways

Using examples from food banks and pantries and meal service programs from around the country we’ll discuss creating new opportunities for volunteer engagement. Do you have volunteers conducting community outreach, gleaning fresh produce from their neighborhoods, sharing meal and recipe ideas, or participating in your social media campaigns? Sample position descriptions will be provided.

Fighting Hunger Together: Engage Volunteers Using Social Media Tools

This webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment and retention plans. We’ll take a look at examples of hunger relief organizations who have successfully marketed their opportunities using social media. You’ll also learn about the social media tools available as part of your VolunteerMatch account that can help you promote your volunteer opportunities on other social networking sites.

Measuring Success: How to Strategically Assess Your Program

Your volunteer engagement program can be measured by more than just the hours a volunteer gives your organization. What other kinds of information should you keep track of, and how do you know if you’re doing a good job with your volunteer engagement program? This webinar will help you think through both the quantitative and qualitative information you can use to evaluate your program.

Check out more free webinar topics in the VolunteerMatch Learning Center.

Nonprofit Tip of the Month: Add Cause Areas to Engage the Right Volunteers

Choose cause areas for your volunteer listing that will attract the right volunteers to your nonprofit organization.The most popular tips in this series focus on tools that help you engage a larger volunteer audience. In the past, I’ve shared the importance of social media, strategic keywords and professional skills.

This month, however, I’m all about adding cause areas to your opportunities and how they will help match your organization with volunteers that are the best fit for your needs.

Adding causes to your volunteer opportunities is quick and easy to do:

  • In the first step of the posting process (the ‘What’ step) you’ll notice a section labeled ‘Interest areas’ near the bottom of the page.
  • To add interest areas, simply check the corresponding boxes and click ‘Next Step’ to save.
  • You are required to add at least one cause but can opt to add three: if applicable, add all three. This will ensure that your opportunity shows up more often in search results.

Choose as many interest areas as are relevant so volunteers who are passionate about your cause will find your volunteer opportunities.

Recently, we made some major changes to our site–including the way volunteers search for opportunities. In addition to searching by keyword, volunteers are now able to search by cause area. So adding cause areas to your opportunities will help your organization show up more often in search results to the volunteers who really care about your cause.

Some more exciting changes to the VolunteerMatch interface: the Volunteer Profile and the Recommendations Engine. Volunteers now have to ability to create a profile outlining their skills and the causes they are passionate about. The Recommendations Engine generates a customized list of suggested opportunities based on information included in the Volunteer Profile. To ensure your organization’s posts are recommended to the right volunteers, add causes to all of your volunteer opportunities!

Want to know more about the new features of VolunteerMatch? Register for a free webinar all about our new tools.

July Webinar Preview: Beat the Heat, Engage More Volunteers

Learn something new. Register for a webinar.

Take a break from the summer heat and learn something new about volunteer engagement in July. This month we have lots of great titles that will help you with everything from getting started to evolving an existing engagement program.

We’ve also rolled out some exciting new changes to our site! If you’d like to learn more about how our new features can help you engage volunteers, be sure and register for an introductory session this month.

Recruit With the New VolunteerMatch!

VolunteerMatch has a new look, and the way volunteers search and find opportunities has changed. This informational session will cover everything you need to know about the changes to VolunteerMatch to continue to find the volunteers you want. We’ll also cover some tips and tricks to make sure your opportunities stand out.

Single Days of Service: Make it Work

Volunteer engagement is changing. More and more volunteers are looking to get involved and make a difference in a single day of service. The political and social climate is further emphasizing this trend. How do you create meaningful work that can be completed in a single day by a large group of diverse volunteers? This webinar will walk you through the first steps for incorporating single days of service into your program, and help you begin to think more creatively about volunteer engagement.

Fighting Hunger Together: Engaging Volunteers Using Social Media

What do you need to know about social media as a volunteer program manager for a hunger relief organization? This webinar will offer an introduction to including social media in your volunteer recruitment plan. We’ll take a look at examples of hunger relief organizations who have successfully marketed their opportunities using social media. You’ll also learn about the social media tools available as part of your VolunteerMatch account that can help you promote your volunteer opportunities on other social networking sites.

Playing By the Rules: Creating an Effective Volunteer Handbook

Learn how to create a living document that can help both paid and volunteer staff be better informed and know what is expected of them. A good Volunteer Handbook can also help you better identify and deal with challenging volunteers. Whether you’re just starting to create a Handbook or if you’re looking for best practices on information to include, this webinar will evaluate the Handbook you have and help you create a stronger framework for your volunteer engagement program.

Check out more free webinar topics in the VolunteerMatch Learning Center.

June Webinar Preview: New Ways to Engage Volunteers

 

Learn something new. Register for a webinar.

This month we’re introducing even more webinars to help you engage volunteers. We’ve added two brand new sessions to our Fighting Hunger series.These webinars might be geared towards fighting hunger, but the information provided is applicable to all types of organizations. No matter where you’re at with your engagement strategies, these webinars can help.

 

Fighting Hunger Together: Engage Volunteers in New Ways!

When you think about volunteering to fight hunger, do you think of jobs like food sorting or serving food in a soup kitchen?  What if we told you that volunteers can do even more to help fight hunger? Using examples from successful food banks, pantries and meal service programs, we’ll discuss creating new types of opportunities in order to create more volunteer engagement. Even if you don’t work for a hunger organization, you’ll learn how to engage volunteers by thinking outside the box. Sample position descriptions will be provided.

Fighting Hunger Together: Recruit & Engage Volunteers in SNAP Outreach

One of the most effective ways to fight hunger is to ensure that your clients are enrolled in federal assistance programs. Mobilizing volunteers to assist with your SNAP outreach (formerly the food stamp program) is not only a great way to help meet your mission, but it’s also rewarding for your volunteers. In this webinar we’ll cover the steps for recruiting, training and managing volunteers in SNAP outreach. Sample position descriptions and recruitment plans will be provided. If you aren’t yet engaging volunteers in this way, or if you’re looking for some new ideas – this session is for you.

If you’re looking for more webinars about volunteer engagement, be sure and register for these titles too:

Where Do I Go From Here? Engage Volunteers in New Ways

Build Staff Buy-In for Volunteer Engagement

Engaging Pro Bono and Skilled Volunteers

Social Media and Volunteer Engagement

Developing a Strategic Plan for Volunteer Engagement

To check out all of the titles we have to offer, please visit Learning Center.

Nonprofit Tip of the Month: Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up!

Don’t drop the ball. Follow up.

You use VolunteerMatch to connect with the volunteers you need, but what happens next? Following up is an important part of the recruitment process. It’s the first opportunity for your organization to engage new volunteers. For this month’s tip I’ll teach you how to use the tools in your VolunteerMatch account to follow up with everyone who expresses interest in your opportunities.

Following up does not have to be a long, involved process. Most of the time a simple ‘Thank You’ note will work. You can also use follow up messaging to inform volunteers of next steps in your on-boarding process. If your organization has a Community Leader subscription you can even create customized questions that are sent out automatically.

When you post an opportunity on our site it will be visible to thousands of individuals within our network. Each time an interested volunteer clicks the ‘I Want to Help!’ button we will automatically save their contact information into your VolunteerMatch account. You can use this information in your follow up process by accessing your Referral Report.

To learn how to access the Referral Report watch this short Tools Training Video.

Use the information stored in your Referral Report to send out follow up messaging to prospective volunteers. Let them know you received their inquiry and inform them about next steps. Schedule a phone interview, send them additional paperwork or invite them to register on your website. Taking the time to follow up promotes engagement and retention, so make sure your organization doesn’t drop the ball.

Do you have any tips for following up with volunteers? Share them in the comments below!