Using volunteer management software for your rota can solve your problems, here’s how….
Working in the third sector can be immensely rewarding, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t challenges and this includes the process of managing volunteers.
As a volunteer manager, you are often dealing with large workloads, shrinking budgets and an ever-changing team of volunteers and roles for them to fulfill. But by utilising rota management tools like RotaCentral, many of the tasks volunteer coordinators undertake and the frustrations and problems that occur can be overcome with ease.
Here are some of the biggest volunteer management problems and our advice on how to tackle them.
Having put in the hard work to recruit volunteers, you want to keep them. But volunteer turnover can be high and happens for many reasons, a common one being that volunteers don’t feel that the time they are donating is being utilised in the best possible way. This can cause volunteers to become resentful and apathetic towards your organisation, leading them to quit.
It is therefore important that you put processes in place to ensure that volunteer time is being used efficiently, and that you share with your volunteers the ways in which they make a difference by being there.
To ensure volunteer time is being used wisely, develop an efficient rota where you don’t have too many (or too few) volunteers on shift at the same time. You can experiment with the right number and ask volunteers whether they think they are being utilised well and how they think you can make improvements.
You can make this task easy for yourself by sending out group messages to all your volunteers through the RotaCentral platform, asking them to provide feedback and making sure they feel involved in the process.
Feeling, or becoming, disorganised is common amongst volunteer managers. It’s not unsurprising when you have a big group of volunteers to juggle and a million tasks to deal with at the same time. But this is where volunteer management software like RotaCentral can help you manage shifts, communicate and complete administrative tasks.
With RotaCentral’s online rota management platform volunteers can sign up for shifts, check the rota, request shift swaps directly with other volunteers and communicate with volunteer coordinators easily and quickly.
Being able to do all these tasks directly within the platform saves a vast amount of coordinating time so you can focus on other tasks that require your attention. On average, our customers tell us that they have saved 62% of the time that they previously spent on rota admin.
However big your pool of volunteers, finding enough people available for all shifts is a common problem. In the past, endless emails, text messages and phone calls would be made to fill a rota and, inevitably, cancellations would occur. But volunteer management software such as RotaCentral can do the hard work for you. You can either place volunteers in shifts and ask them to accept/reject, use the software to automatically allocate shifts, or let volunteers choose from a blank rota.
With RotaCentral, volunteers can register their availability for shifts and role preferences and accept or reject shifts. If a volunteer cancels a shift, the system can automatically notify other volunteers who may be available to cover it.
Automating your volunteer scheduling is the simplest and most effective way to solve classic volunteer management problems of availability.
Recruiting volunteers is notoriously difficult. With so many organisations worthy of volunteers’ time, it can be hard to attract good volunteers to your organisation over others. And while roles can be advertised on the internet or in publications, for many local organisations, seeking referrals from current volunteers is often the most successful recruitment method. But volunteers won’t encourage others to volunteer if their own experience isn’t a good one.
That’s why it’s important to provide your volunteers with a positive experience that they will tell their friends and family about. In a previous blog post of ours, we shared our ‘tips to keep you volunteers happy and engaged’ which includes:
- Equipping volunteers with training and tools
- Promoting a positive community environment
- Offering flexibility
- Recognising and rewarding successes
Following some of this advice will be a great start to ensuring your volunteers enjoy working with your organisation and then tell others they should do the same.
The Benefits of a Rota Management Tool
Building and managing a group of engaged and reliable volunteers is challenging. But you don’t have to do it alone. RotaCentral has been designed to help volunteer managers do their job and ensure volunteers and volunteer coordinators don’t spend unnecessary time on administrative tasks.
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Discover how RotaCentral can help solve volunteer management problems and schedule a demo → Schedule a demo.
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