Running a nonprofit is rewarding yet challenging. You have to get volunteers, manage them, and make sure their work is helping you reach your goals. One way to make it easier is to have an effective volunteer management system.

The right volunteer management can help you keep track of donations, recruit volunteers, and more. With so many options out there, how do you choose the right one? We'll look at what to consider when picking a volunteer management system and share some of the best ones out there.

Assessing Your Volunteer Management Needs

If you want to build a strong, successful volunteer program, it's key to assess your volunteer management needs.

  • Identify the goals and objectives you want to achieve. Knowing what you're working toward is how you determine which tools you'll need.
  • Evaluate your current volunteer management processes to see if any improvements can be made. Take note of what's working and where your systems have gaps.
  • Assess your organization's technical capabilities to determine which software or other tools are compatible with your current setup. Starting with tech that has a steep learning curve could end up hurting your progress.

Taking these steps first will help ensure that your organization is well-prepared for the journey ahead.

Evaluating Volunteer Management Software Options

Avoid jumping into a new system without first comparing software options. Allocate a few weeks to look into software options, try out demos, and present your selections to those involved. It's best to assess the costs and features available to decide which ones make sense for the size and scope of your organization.

  • You should be able to log in from any device you have, desktop, laptop, or even your phone.
  • The software must be able to store all the programs, reports, and documents in one place.
  • Excellent security is key because there might be sensitive information stored so you want to make sure only those approved can access it.
  • Look for software that's easy to use and tweak, so you don't need a programmer or developer to make the necessary changes.
  • A communications portal allows you to can send your team text or email updates, schedule openings, and more.
  • Volunteer management software should provide you with detailed reports and analytics.
  • You might need help after you've launched the software at your organization so customer service and continued support is a must-have.

Let's take a brief look at the leading solutions when it comes to pricing, usability, and customer support.

Cost-effective

  • Civic Champs
  • Track It Forward
  • VoMe Volunteer
  • SignUpGenius

Cost is always a major factor when making big purchases. Have you thought about when you'll be able to get the funds to get what you need? Don't forget to plan for the budget cycles and funding - otherwise, it might take a while to get the purchase done.

User friendly

  • Civic Champs
  • SignUpGenius
  • Volunteer Scheduler Pro
  • Lineup

Excellent customer support

  • Civic Champs
  • Better Impact
  • InitLive
  • EveryAction

Read more here: https://www.civicchamps.com/post/the-best-volunteer-management-software-solutions-2023

When it comes to nonprofit software, the size of your organization matters, too. Something that works great for a small group of fewer than 10 volunteers might not be enough for a larger non-profit. And on the other hand, a solution built for a big non-profit could be too expensive for a smaller one. We cover more on that at the link above.

Implementing Volunteer Management Software

After deciding which company you want to go with, you'll need a plan before implementing it org-wide.

Timeline

Develop a roadmap of the entire process of setting up your new software, with specific dates for each step. This includes researching and testing the software, paperwork, installation, data conversion, and a phased rollout. Think of it as an onboarding process for the new software, which will make your job easier once it's fully integrated.

Remember to check your calendar for upcoming events. If you're expecting to be busy soon, give yourself plenty of time to get the software up and running.

Training

When it comes to onboarding, implementing new software can be a lengthy process taking weeks, even months, to get correctly set up. Factor in time for teaching staff and volunteers how to use the software because they may need a while to adapt to the new system.

You can make your training modules or ask your software provider for materials that'll help your team get used to the new platform. Take your time and make sure everyone is familiar with it to increase your chance of success.

Transitioning to Civic Champs is smooth and easy thanks to our user-friendly onboarding process, complete with an extensive knowledge base. Our team and live chat will always be there to make sure you have all the help you need.

Testing

Start with a select few staff members. A smaller initial user base gives you more control and visibility over the new system. You can also see what people like and dislike about its current features, so you can all fiddle around with it at a more stress-free, exploratory rate before the full-on launch.

This is the perfect time to experiment with integrations. Civic Champs integrations include:

  • Salsa Engage: Bi-directional integration makes sure volunteer info is always up to date. You can segment volunteers by grouping them in Salsa's CRM tool, so you can track and report on each group separately. Plus, you can send targeted messages to volunteers through fundraising, email, and text campaigns.
  • Little Green Light: This donor management and CRM software is perfect for small and mid-sized nonprofits. Get $200 off a new subscription using the discount code "civicchamps"!
  • Raiser's Edge NXT: This software solution offers cloud-based architecture perfect for nonprofits to analyze their donor base, make data-driven decisions about donor retention and donation amounts, and so much more.

Maintaining and Improving Your Volunteer Management Software

It's important to always keep an eye on how your volunteer management software is performing. Make sure to regularly check it and make any changes or upgrades that may be necessary. You should also make sure it's still in line with the goals and processes of your organization.

Use a survey, a built-in feature with Civic Champs, to collect feedback about events and operations. This information will inform your process improvement decisions, making your organization run even better and more efficiently.

Choose Right - Choose Civic Champs

Selecting the right volunteer management software is key to your nonprofit's success. It can help you easily manage your volunteers, schedule shifts, and plan events. To get the most out of your volunteer program, assess your needs, evaluate software options, have an implementation plan, and make sure you assess the process regularly.

With Civic Champs, you'll have the right volunteer management software to ensure your volunteer program is running optimally and achieving success.

About the Author:
Geng Wang

As CEO of Civic Champs, I lead our team of passionate change leaders to create technology solutions to create a seamless and rewarding volunteering experience for both volunteers and service organizations.

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