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Volunteer Management: How to Manage Fundraising Volunteers (And Thank Them!)
From start to finish, volunteers play a major role in the success of any school fundraiser. Their donated time and unique skills contribute to everything from brainstorming ideas to gathering materials to getting the community excited and involved. Because there are so many moving parts to keeping your school fundraiser volunteers engaged and organized, putting into place volunteer management strategies is essential. Follow these steps to ensure your volunteers are not only prepared and informed, but also excited to help at your next fundraiser!
In this blog you will learn:
- Strategies to manage fundraising volunteers.
- How to make your fundraiser more efficient.
- Plus—the best ways to thank your volunteers!
Before Your Fundraiser Gets Started
Here are a few crucial steps to take before launching your fundraising event. These foundational steps will help you ensure a well-organized and successful fundraising campaign, no matter the nature of your event, whether it's a fitness fundraiser, product sale, or custom gear promotion.
Determine how many volunteers you need.
Whether your school is going to host a fitness fundraiser or sell custom gear, once you’ve landed on which type of fundraiser you're planning you can start to outline your volunteer needs. For example, a fun run will require volunteers to plan as well as help on the actual event day. Depending on how you plan your custom gear sale, you may need volunteers to pack and distribute orders or to man a table and sell at a special event.
Pro Tip: As you add up how many volunteers you need to make your fundraiser a success, remember you can always turn to the fundraising experts at Booster to help fill in the gaps and save you time.
Outline the needs for each volunteer role.
Be clear about what you need and expect, including what sort of time commitment will be necessary. If your volunteers have a good understanding of what they are signing up for, there should be no surprises!
Pro Tip: Try to align the skills of your volunteers with your available jobs. For example, if you have a volunteer that works in marketing, encourage them to take on a role such as creating content to advertise your fundraiser.
Create an organized signup process.
Use a free online tool such as signup genius or a shared google document to share your available roles easily and allow your volunteers to sign up from anywhere. This important step in volunteer management will allow both you and your volunteers to see what roles have been filled and which ones you still need in real time.
Pro Tip: Use various channels such as social media and email to share your signup sheet and start recruiting. Don’t forget to share how rewarding volunteering for your fundraiser will be!
Volunteer Management Tips to Use During Your Fundraiser
These invaluable insights and strategies will enhance your volunteer management during the course of your fundraising efforts. From providing comprehensive training for your volunteers to tracking their hours, encouraging feedback, and maintaining an organized volunteer database, these tips will empower you to optimize your team's performance and ensure a smoother, more successful fundraiser. Whether you're an experienced event organizer or embarking on your first fundraising venture, these volunteer management techniques will prove instrumental in achieving your goals.
Offer training for volunteer roles.
Set your volunteers up to succeed in their roles by providing them with information about your fundraiser and the best ways to execute their roles. Depending on how complicated the job is, this can be a quick conversation or a more in-depth training. Training can be especially helpful for first-time volunteers.
Pro Tip: Create training videos or documents with step-by-step guidance for roles you are repeatedly training for to save both you and your volunteers time.
Track your volunteers’ hours.
Ask your volunteers to keep a record of their time spent on each task they are involved in. This will allow you to have a better understanding of each role and fine tune descriptions and requirements for future volunteer management.
Pro Tip: Make tracking hours as simple as possible for your volunteers so as not to take away too much time from their actual work. Use time tracking software or create an online form that is easily accessible on the go.
Encourage feedback and adapt accordingly.
Your volunteers are your eyes and ears on the day-to-day operations. Ask for feedback before, during, and after your fundraiser for a better understanding of what is working well and where you can make improvements. This can be done via email, through a survey, or even in person.
Pro Tip: It can also be very beneficial to offer opportunities for volunteers to provide anonymous feedback. Try setting up an opinion drop box or using an online survey that can be submitted without attribution.
Keep a volunteer database.
Maintaining a running list of those who volunteer for fundraisers is key to volunteer management. Make sure to include contact information and types of roles they have volunteered for in the past. You can use this list to reach out to volunteers for future events.
Pro Tip: Get to know your volunteers during your fundraiser! Find out what their hobbies and careers are and take note in your database. These skills and passions may be the perfect fit for an upcoming volunteer opportunity.
How to Show Appreciation for Your Volunteers
Your volunteers consist of busy families, teachers, school staff and other community members. They are donating their valuable time to your fundraiser—don’t forget to thank them! This will build strong relationships and encourage future participation.
Bring in food.
Don’t wait until the end of your fundraiser to thank your volunteers! Show your appreciation while they’re actively working hard. Bring in snacks or a meal during a session where you are gathered in person such as organizing product orders to distribute.
Give frequent shoutouts.
Recognize volunteers that are going above and beyond with shoutouts via email or on social media. This will build a positive and supportive environment while also catching the eye of potential volunteers for your next fundraiser.
Go big for teacher appreciation week.
Show your gratitude for teachers and school staff that volunteer their time with a week long celebration. For a list of great ideas that will make them feel extra special, read 12 Teacher Appreciation Ideas.
Host volunteer appreciation events.
Plan a few events a year that are just for your volunteers. This could be anything from a pizza party to a night out at the movies—get creative! Not only will these events express your appreciation but they also serve as team bonding experiences that will strengthen your volunteer team.
Effective Volunteer Management Strategies Contribute to Successful Fundraisers
Volunteers are the backbone of your school fundraisers. They dedicate time, energy, and knowledge to help make sure your school successfully raises the funds necessary to bring positive changes and improvements. By implementing these effective volunteer management strategies and expressing your gratitude, you can ensure your volunteers feel valued and supported every step of the way.Interested in learning more about how Booster can help you and your volunteers save time and raise more for your next fundraiser? Get started!