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Volunteer Management and Capacity Building: Helpful Strategies and Tools

Developing your organization’s volunteer management capabilities is a crucial part of capacity building. The National Council of Nonprofits defines capacity building as “…activities that improve and enhance a nonprofit’s ability to achieve its mission and sustain itself over time.” Capacity building strategies that involve volunteer management may include:

* Improving human resources departments and procedures.

* Enhancing communications strategies and methods.

* Boosting efficiency and reach through adoption of new technologies.

A key part of the capacity building process is figuring out how to increase efficiency and volunteer satisfaction. How so? Research into the relationship between organizational capacity and volunteer management practices indicates that well-managed volunteers are more likely to feel satisfied. Satisfied volunteers are more likely to renew commitments and recruit new volunteers. When your organization achieves a greater number of volunteers, increased volunteer retention rates, and maximized efficiency, your capacity to serve the community grows.

There are plenty of reasons to be concerned if your organization has not put any energy into acquiring volunteer management tools to help you build capacity. A 1998 study commissioned by the UPS Foundation showed that two out of five volunteers surveyed reported they quit volunteering at a particular organization because of poor management. Indications of poor volunteer management include volunteers feeling that their time or talents are being wasted or feeling unsupported and unappreciated by the organization as a whole. The bottom line is that poor management is likely to result in volunteer dissatisfaction and lowered retention rates.

How Volunteer Management Software Can Help Build Capacity

The good news is that advances in technology have made efficient management of volunteers easier to accomplish now than ever before. Any organization that relies on volunteers for success, from healthcare organizations to nonprofit groups to small businesses, can help build capacity with volunteer management software. This type of software offers tools to help you:

1. Connect with new volunteers through social media.

2. Communicate with current volunteers.

3. Track volunteer information and efforts.

4. Match volunteers with ideal opportunities.

5. Engage potential recruits, current volunteers, and community partners.

Using a software based volunteer management toolkit that includes all these features will assist you in your efforts to build the capacity of your organization. Building capacity does require an investment of time, energy, and resources in volunteer management tools and strategies. However, over the long-term, effective capacity building strategies will yield greater empowerment and growth and ensure the sustainability of your organization in the future.

Ask for a demonstration to see how Galaxy Digital’s Get Connected volunteer management software can help your organization build capacity.