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Leveraging Tech to Manage Volunteers

Feb 09, 2023
Volunteer Group

Your supporters are your organization’s greatest asset! Effective volunteer management is vital because it helps build stronger long-term relationships with supporters and ensures a nonprofit can achieve its mission. 



  1. Assign a staff person to be responsible for the volunteer program. Too many cooks in the kitchen can cause confusion so you want to designate one person to be gatekeeper. 

  2. Define your volunteer program goals. Define your goals at the beginning of your program so you know how to evaluate success. This is where most organizations fall short. They don’t establish metrics and when end of year rolls around, they have no idea how to report on their activities. Common key performance indicators (KPIs) include: active volunteers, volunteer program retention rate (i.e. new vs. repeat volunteers), volunteer hours logged, the monetary value of services rendered by volunteer support, and number of people in the community served by volunteers.

  3. Recruit, train, engage, and retain volunteers. Make sure the volunteer coordinator has a plan to recruit, train, engage, and retain volunteers. Retention is key because a lot of time will be invested to train and engage volunteers so you want to make sure you keep them around. Otherwise, you will have to keep training new people and waste valuable time.

  4. Measure impact. The last step is to regularly measure impact to make sure you are on track to meet your goals.


We see many nonprofits use Excel to manage their data. This is time-consuming and error-prone. Volunteer management software will organize your data so you save time on mundane tasks. Volunteer management software can help you:

  • Build volunteer profiles

  • Schedule volunteer opportunities

  • Track and report on volunteer involvement

  • Segment volunteers for easy communication

  • Automate and personalize volunteer engagement

  • Streamline volunteer application process


There are many tools out there - it can be overwhelming. Below is a list of what you want to look for when choosing the right software to manage volunteers:

  • User-friendly design: Intuitive, simple

  • Scheduling tools: Assigning volunteers to projects, shift sign-ups, shift reminders, check-in functionality

  • Reporting and analytics: Time-tracking, canned reports 

  • Communication tools: Emails, texting, landing pages, forms

  • Software integration: Ability to integrate with your existing CRM and email marketing tools


Much valuable information about volunteer time goes unrecorded and unreported. This is a missed opportunity. Below are reasons why you should take the time to track volunteer activities:

  1. Raise More Money: Donors view volunteer participation as a measure of effectiveness. You can report volunteer contributions when applying for grants and soliciting donations from individuals to communicate organizational effectiveness.

  2. Improve Your Volunteer Program ROI: By tracking the impact of volunteers, nonprofits can better understand where resources are being used and what the organization is getting back in return. This information can be used to improve your volunteer program. 

  3. Empower Volunteers to be Accountable: Holding volunteers accountable is difficult because they are unpaid. Share the metrics you plan to track in order to be transparent about expectations. This empowers volunteers to demonstrate accountability for their commitments.