A Closer Look at the Volunteer Program Improvement Tool for Hunger-Fighting Organizations

A few months ago, we introduced you to the Volunteer Program Improvement Tool, a free tool developed exclusively for hunger-related organizations*.

Today, let’s take a closer look.Volunteer Program Improvement Tool for Hunger NonprofitsAt VolunteerMatch, we recognize that a successful volunteer program isn’t just about attracting volunteers. It isn’t just about getting internal buy-in. Nor is it just about keeping volunteers engaged, having a good program infrastructure, giving volunteers the recognition they deserve, or letting your community know about your volunteer program.

No, it isn’t just about any of these things. It’s about all of them.

If that sounds like a lot, don’t worry. The Volunteer Program Improvement Tool takes you through each component of a successful volunteer program, one at a time.

Maybe you rock at getting volunteers on board, but have trouble keeping them. Not only will this tool diagnose that, it will give you concrete action steps and resources for strengthening your volunteer retention.

How? All you need to do is answer a few simple questions about your volunteer program.

After you complete the tool, you’ll receive a report created just for you, highlighting your program’s strengths and weaknesses, and a path for improvement.

What are you waiting for? Get on the path to a stronger volunteer program. Access the free tool today.

*You may be wondering, “Why hunger organizations?” VolunteerMatch developed this tool as part of our partnership with ConAgra Foods Foundation, a company with a big commitment to end childhood hunger. Part of this commitment includes equipping nonprofits with the resources they need to do what they do best – create real change in their communities in the fight against hunger. And for many food banks and similar organizations, this change is dependent on volunteers.

[WEBINAR] Making Big Bets: How Changes in Volunteer Engagement Strategies Pay Off!

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The Nonprofit Insights webinar series brings major thought leaders and experts to you for thought-provoking presentations on a variety of issues related to technology and engaging your community members for social good.

What volunteers want to do with their time, how they want to get involved and how they make to make a difference is changing.

For many organizations this means that leaders of volunteer engagement are scrambling to rethink volunteer work and what it means to be a volunteer in their organizations. Creating new opportunities for volunteers can be challenging – how do you create these new opportunities, how do gain buy-in from paid staff and existing volunteers, how do you know it’s working?

Join Carla Lehn, Library Programs Consultant for the California State Library and Beth Steinhorn, President of JFFIxler Group as they talk about what they’ve learned about transforming volunteer engagement programs. Beth will share lessons she’s learned from engaging Boomers as volunteers and the importance of creating impact-driven opportunities, and Carla will share how she’s transformed what it means to be a library volunteer and how she worked with paid staff to make this happen.

Both Carla and Beth have written chapters in VolunteerMatch’s new book Volunteer Engagement 2.0: Ideas and Insights Changing the World. This book explores the innovative volunteer engagement approaches that are reshaping nonprofits and their communities, and shows how you can bring these approaches to your own organization.

Who Should Attend:

  • Leaders of Volunteer Engagement
  • Volunteer Program Managers

Reserve your spot today!
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
11am – 12pm PT (2-3pm ET)
Cost: Free!

Follow along with the conversation on Twitter: @VolunteerMatch and #vmlearn.

Sharpen Your Skills this Summer with VolunteerMatch’s Free Webinars

Learn new volunteer skills this summer“What are you doing for your summer vacation?”

Because VolunteerMatch participates in the Cristo Rey program, we have high school students in our office a couple of days a week. On her last day, our sophomore asked me what I was doing for my summer vacation.

For many 16-year-olds, summer means free time and possibilities. While not the same as going to sleep-away camp, what about taking a little in-office training vacation?

I have some great topics coming up this month in VolunteerMatch’s Learning Center. The focus for June is how to plan for the future and evolve your program to work with the volunteer of tomorrow.

The month starts with Engaging the Volunteer of the Future on June 9th. I’ll share some of the things we know about volunteers based on first-hand experience, and how to evolve your program to engage today’s, and tomorrow’s, volunteers.

Have you thought about how well your program is working now, and what your program should look like in 5 years? I’ll be covering both of those topics – starting with Measuring Success on June 11th, and following up with Developing a Strategic Plan on June 16th.

Measuring Success covers evaluating the impact and outcomes of your volunteer engagement program, and the satisfaction of your volunteers. This topic will give you some good ideas on what kind of information you can share on how volunteers make an impact on your organization.

Developing a Strategic Plan for your volunteer engagement program is a hot topic in the space right now, and for good reason. As our population demographics change (millennials now make up the largest percentage of the work force), we need to evolve our volunteer engagement strategies as well. This webinar will help you start these conversations and pull together the right stakeholders (including volunteers) to create a plan for the next 5 years.

I’ll end the month with one of our Core Component topics by digging into Volunteer Handbooks on June 18th. This session includes samples and ideas for keeping your policies and procedures relevant for the volunteer program you have now. I’ll also cover how to build buy-in from paid staff and volunteers for these policies so you don’t have to be the only sheriff in town!

Even if you can’t get away for the summer, I encourage you to take a short break to learn something new!

You can find the complete list of all of our webinars here. I hope you’ll join me at one of these always free online trainings in 2015! And, stay tuned for new dates and topics coming soon.

Is It Time To Spring Clean Your Volunteer Program?

Spring Clean Your Volunteer ProgramFlowers are blooming, birds are singing – it’s finally spring time.

If you’re thinking about brushing some of the cobwebs off your volunteer engagement program, VolunteerMatch has some great topics coming up in our Learning Center to help you revisit or re-energize your program.

On May 7th, I’ll discuss how to design a successful skilled volunteer opportunity, how to recruit a volunteer with professional-level skills, and how best to manage the process. One of the best ways to find and recruit volunteers, including those with professional-level skills, is through social media. I’ll share some great ideas for incorporating social media into all aspects of your volunteer program on May 21st.

While we want to look forward to new ideas for volunteer engagement, we should also make sure we’re doing the best we can for our existing volunteers. As many of our volunteers get older, we need to consider their safety while respecting the contribution they’ve made to our organizations. I’ll be digging into all of this on May 5th in Managing an Aging Volunteer Corps.

Many of these situations, as well as so many other situations with volunteers, involve ethical dilemmas. Too often, we don’t think about the ethics behind our volunteer engagement decisions. The good news is that there are tools to help you! Join myself and Katie Campbell on May 6th as we talk through volunteer engagement scenarios involving ethics. We’ll provide you with tools to bring ethics into your own decision making.

On May 12th, I’ll also explore how to create a training program for your volunteers. Whether you’re looking for a few new ideas or starting from scratch, I’ll cover best practices and some creative ideas to ensure that your volunteers hit the ground running this spring!

You can find the complete list of all of our webinars here. I hope you’ll join me at one of these always free online trainings in 2015!

Hunger Nonprofits: Grow Your Volunteer Program with This Free Tool

Hunger Organization Volunteer Improvement ToolWhat if you could improve your organization’s volunteer program with just a few clicks?

If you’re a hunger-fighting organization, now you can.

We’ve developed a free tool specifically for hunger-fighting organizations to evaluate their volunteer engagement programs.

Why hunger organizations?
This tool was developed as part of a partnership with ConAgra Foods Foundation, a company with a big commitment to end childhood hunger. Part of this commitment includes equipping nonprofits with the resources they need to do what they do best – create real change in their communities in the fight against hunger. And for many food banks and similar organizations, this change is dependent on volunteers.

About the tool.
In this tool, called the Volunteer Program Improvement Tool, you will be taken through a series of statements, and will be asked to select the statements that are true about your volunteer engagement program.

In just a few short minutes, the tool works its magic and generates a custom report just for you. This includes:

  • Where your volunteer program currently stands. Are you volunteer engagement novices, or is your program already running at rock-star level?
  • Specific action steps to improve your volunteer program, based on where you’re program is currently.
  • Lots of additional resources to help with your improvement journey.

Best of all, it’s completely free. Ready to get started? Access the tool today.