So you’ve got a great website that looks cool, loads fast, and is better than you ever imagined. Now you can just sit back and let it all happen. Wait… what is supposed to happen again? What will this new website actually do? Sure it has the church hours on it and they are very easy to find. So does that mean that people won’t be late? Probably not. What can your website do? For churches and nonprofits, one of the best ways to get more from your site is by using it for volunteer management.
Why Use A Volunteer Management Page?
There are 3 big reasons to use a volunteer management page. It can equip, empower, and encourage your volunteers. It can equip your volunteers by providing clear, up-to-date, job and duty descriptions. Have you ever had a volunteer wander into a room and stand around unsure of what to do next? Have you ever been that volunteer? It is frustrating and uncomfortable. Statistics show that volunteers with clear job descriptions and guidelines are more likely to continue volunteering. Someone who shows up to help with an Awana night and is just told to do “crowd control” won’t be back for the next Awana night. Even if crowd control is vital and necessary it is not very well defined. But someone who walks into a crowd of 9 year olds and know exactly what is asked of them is going to have a much more satisfying experience and be more likely to come back. And where do they get those clear, accessible instructions? Probably not from the super busy Children’s Director 5 minutes before (or after!) the beginning of the night’s activities. Having a well designed, easy to use, and easy to find volunteer management page provide have those detailed instructions.
What about empowering your volunteers? The same is true, your page can be a place that not only has instructions on how to perform the duties, but also an opportunity for other volunteers to share what is working best for them, other options and possibilities, as well as what needs are not being addressed. Volunteers not only get more comfortable knowing what others are saying about the job, but also feel that they have a place to express and share their own experience.
And of course it is a great place to follow up with and encourage your volunteers in a public way. Did someone do a great job despite difficult circumstances? Let them and everyone know how well they handled it. Did you see a volunteer going the extra mile? Share that story! Let them know how appreciated they are!
Having clearly defined goals for your website is just as important as having clearly defined job descriptions for your volunteers. This really is a big deal, not just so you can easily measure and report on your current state of affairs, but so you can also track and implement what is working and what isn’t working. This is true across the board with your website but is equally true with your volunteer management page.
There are several possible primary goals. Maybe you just want to find a better management system for a volunteer coordinator. Or maybe you want a unified system to manage volunteers from a variety ministries. Maybe it really is just an information repository for volunteers and potential volunteers. But I have seen some sites that have bigger more comprehensive goals such as to increase volunteerism as a whole, increase repeat volunteerism, or for manage specific volunteer projects such as a mission trip, vbs, or similar.
What About Real Life?
Our daily lives are now more digitally integrated than before and they will become even more tied into the internet going forward. But that doesn’t mean you should have only a digital approach anymore than it means that it is ok to ignore digital tools altogether. It means that a holistic approach is the best and really only way to go. I visited a church that had a room that was dedicated specifically to volunteers with a staff member available to answer questions, snacks and coffee, and their detailed instructions printed out and organized by ministry. A volunteer management page is a continuation of that, not a replacement. It is a dedicated comfortable room available 24/7. Your page should tie into the physical ministry in a way that makes the transition from reading instructions on the site to actually volunteering seamless.
What About You?
Are you a part of a church that is really nailing it with volunteer management? Does your church not only ask for volunteers but equips and trains them as well? Or do you feel like we are missing something here? Share on our social media channels. If you have questions about how to build out and implement a volunteer management page or would just like a website update altogether then head on over to our contact page.