Why do you need a Digital Tool to Manage Volunteers?

Volunteers are the backbone of any advocacy group, non-profit organization or election campaign. Managing these dedicated individuals successfully is one of the most important ways of ensuring that your overarching goals are fulfilled, whatever they may be.

Volunteer management is undoubtedly a skill, and one that takes time and practice to refine. One of the best ways to become a strong and resourceful manager is to use digital tools to complement your efforts to organize your volunteers. In this article, we’ll be sharing an overview of some of the features offered by digital tools that can assist you in managing your volunteers and outline exactly why these features are so important. Read on to find out how digital tools can revolutionize your volunteer management system right now!

What are Digital Tools to manage your volunteers?

Running a campaign or promoting a cause with the use of digital tools is becoming increasingly popular. But what exactly are these tools? Digital tools can be described as any piece of software which alleviates some of the administrative work involved in running your organization, whether that’s an NGO or a political campaign. Often, a singular piece of digital software will contain a variety of different features, including volunteer management system, electoral mapping analysis software, citizen relationship management (CRM) systems, and canvassing apps. Examples of these software platforms include Qomon, NationBuilder, HubSpot and Salesforce.

These digital tools can be extremely useful for managing volunteers. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the ways in which you can create a volunteer management system from using digital software:

three people are sitting at computers in the office
Photo by Arlington Research on Unsplash

The Different Ways to use Digital Tools to Manage Volunteers:

  1. Assign your volunteers to teams: Before beginning your action, you will need to ensure that every volunteer knows exactly what they’re doing and are motivated to get started. One of the best ways of doing this is by using a mobile app to quickly assign each volunteer to their team and to their respective actions. You can divide volunteers between teams depending on levels of training received, area and type of action involved. This is far easier than assigning teams in person, and also means that you can rapidly keep volunteers up to date with any changes you may need to make to team structures while they’re canvassing in the field.

  2. Create a centralized system for keeping volunteers’ information: when entering the field to begin canvassing, your volunteers will have a lot of material to carry with them, including scripts, surveys and calling lists, which you’ll have prepared for them in advance. Providing these materials to your volunteers in a physical format runs the risk of them going missing or being overly cumbersome for your volunteers to manage while going door-to-door or calling. A far easier means of managing these materials for volunteers is to provide them with a canvassing mobile app which houses all of these materials in one centralized location. With just a few clicks, you can communicate all necessary information to volunteers which you wish for them to share while engaging in their actions, thereby eliminating the risk of materials going missing or being too difficult to manage!

  3. Create a centralized system for volunteers to log all responses recorded: when canvassing, calling, or petitioning, volunteers are required to collect a large quantity of information rapidly from members of the public. This information will only be available to you at the end of the action, delaying your analysis of the data recorded, and also risking this information being recorded inaccurately if done manually. However, by providing your teams with a mobile app instead to input their communications, it diminishes the chances of manual mistakes being made, while also allowing you to instantly analyze the data gathered. This will quickly make your volunteer management system more efficient and make the canvassing experience for volunteers far more enjoyable!

  4. Keep track of your volunteers’ canvassing routes: one of the most ground-breaking features offered by digital tools for door-to-door canvassing is the ability for action organizers to keep track of the routes taken by their volunteers. Not only can you see in real time exactly where your volunteers are, you can also quickly communicate with volunteers to ensure they’re knocking on the right doors. This helps to ensure that they make the most of their time in the field. Visualizing contacts and locating members of your action is just a click away- this is one of the most influential developments made in recent years, and one of the key reasons why digital tools are essential for any organizations’ volunteer management.

a close up of group of happy community service volunteers stacking hands together outdoors in street
Image by Unsplash+

No matter what type of organization you may be- an NGO, political campaign, or advocacy group- managing volunteers is going to be one of your most important tasks. That’s why it’s essential to find the correct platform that helps you to do it correctly, right from the start. Digital tools are one of the best ways to improve your volunteer management system and to ensure your volunteers are correctly supported throughout the organized action, from start to finish. Why not request a demo with a software platform today and see if it can help your volunteer management skills to improve!

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