Celebrated author Terry Pratchett once said, “If you don’t know where you come from, then you don’t know where you are. And if you don’t know where you are, then you don’t know where you’re going. And if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re probably going wrong.”
This quote applies to many facets of life, including your online volunteer recruitment. Whether you’re launching your program from scratch or looking for tactics to streamline, let’s break this down.
To understand where you come from, consider asking yourself questions like, “Where do we currently recruit volunteers?,” “How often do we recruit volunteers?,” and “Why do we recruit volunteers?”
Once you have an understanding of where you’re coming from, create a list of specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented (SMART) goals to grasp where you’re going. You’ll revisit these goals throughout the recruitment process. Realistic goal setting is critical here, because if your goals aren’t realistic, you aren’t setting your program up for success.
After your SMART goals are in place, robust tracking and reporting features can help you determine what’s working and what isn’t, and inform you whether or not your goals should be revisited.
Tracking and reporting can enable you to respond to and implement volunteer recruitment changes quickly. And it can even come in handy when reporting on your program to your teammates, leadership, and board. Here’s how a VolunteerMatch Membership can help you track and report.
About Tracking and Reporting
To track and report on a volunteer opportunity, first become a VolunteerMatch Member. Then, from your dashboard, you have the option to select two types of reports — “View All Connections” or “Connections and Page View” report — from the left-hand column.
- “View All Connections” Report
View All Connections allows you to view a list of all your volunteer connections on VolunteerMatch over the last 30 days, 12 months, or all time. You can toggle a specific volunteer opportunity from the drop-down menu, or you may opt to view all of your opportunities’ performance at once.
Once a volunteer opportunity, or all of your volunteer opportunities, are selected, hit “Go”! You’ll get a list of each volunteer’s name, the name of the opportunity they connected with, date of their connection, and any comments associated with their original submission.
Click on a specific volunteer connection to find detailed information about that volunteer, including whether they’ve added skills — such as blogging, coding, or project management — to their profile or not.
Here’s where this comes in handy: if you find a surprising number of volunteers tagging a specific skill in their profile, you may want to revisit your volunteer opportunity to ensure it’s tagged with that skill so that it’s visible to more of your target volunteers.
If you’ve set custom questions, you’re also able to view volunteers’ responses here.
When you have a good view of your performance, you can better understand where you’re headed, along with whether you need to make any changes along the way.
And just like that, you’re making better-informed decisions already!
- “Connections & Page View” Report
Connections & Page View illustrates how many views and connections each of your opportunities receives. It can also show you whether a volunteer opportunity is active or inactive. Inactive means that your opportunity is no longer posted and visible on VolunteerMatch.org.
If you find that one of your opportunity is inactive, check to ensure its expiration or event date hasn’t passed. If you’re still having trouble, read this.
With both the reports, you can export or download volunteer opportunity data into an excel sheet. That can be helpful if you need to create a Pivot Table to better analyze and communicate this data. This data will be especially helpful if you need to create an annual or impact report.
Help leadership digest this information by taking your data visualization efforts one step further: create an infographic or report through Canva or Infogram, which are both free resources.
- Monthly Account Summary
Don’t have time to create a stunning Canva or Infogram image? A third report we offer to VolunteerMatch Members is a reporting snapshot delivered to your inbox monthly.
With takeaways that are actionable and easy-to-understand, the report includes opportunity views, volunteer connections, newly created opportunities, currently active opportunities, recent connections, and a list of your current account administrators. Here’s an example:
Read how other leaders of volunteers are finding success by tracking and reporting on their VolunteerMatch volunteer opportunities:
“[Tracking and reporting] features give me the ability to target recruiting efforts to specific audiences/population groups.” —Anita Knazze, Blessings in a Backpack
“It is easy to update opportunities as needed—adding new ones, removing dated ones and freshening existing opportunities. The support provided through your training webinars is also very helpful. The training helps me make the most of the platform.” —Donna Martin, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Phoenix
“I like that the tracking system shows not only volunteer contact info but how many people have clicked our links, how many have expressed interest, etc. It saves me a lot of time not having to look back and calculate myself” —Heather Harvey, Interim HealthCare: Gift of Hospice.
To help you make the most of our platform, we offer additional support for VolunteerMatch Members through our Help Center articles and Learning Center webinars. If you’re looking to address and resolve your volunteer recruitment challenges, learn how becoming a VolunteerMatch Member can help.