Nonprofits Need to Manage Their Volunteers Better

I just read an excellent article on the importance of nonprofits keeping their volunteers engaged. This very factual and informative writeup suggests the following:

“Nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers, but most CEOs do a poor job of managing them. As a result, more than one-third of those who volunteer one year do not donate their time the next year—at any nonprofit. That adds up to an estimated $38 billion in lost labor. To remedy this situation, nonprofit leaders must develop a more strategic approach to managing this overlooked and undervalued talent pool.”

money_in_trashcan$38 billion…wow. I don’t have actual numbers, but I’m willing to bet that this problem exists in all types of organizations. Churches need to keep their ministries and members involved, associations need to keep their members active, and schools need to keep the parents engaged. We’re even learning that fitness and wellness programs are having more success if they provide tools to connect their members better.

Managing members is more than just keeping data about them. Technology can help all types of member-driven organizations in the following ways:

  1. It keeps everyone informed and ensures that vision and goals are shared
  2. Communication channels are clear and everyone knows how to reach the group and each other
  3. Members feel more connected and have a greater sense of community
  4. It encourages participation and sharing of ideas, which leads to refinement of objectives
  5. Instant communication to users cell phones with text messaging can save much time

These are just a few examples. How is technology helping your nonprofit, church, association or member-driven organization? What can we do to help?