Time: 1 pm eastern
Run Time: 90 minutes including Q & A session
Leader: Brad Lebowsky, MBA, Nonprofit Consultant
Credits: Awarded 1.5 credit hours by HRCI and 1.5 PDCs by SHRM
Price: Webinar $295; Webinar + Download $349 (Share the download with your colleagues)
Audience: Volunteer coordinators, executive directors, program managers, managers, supervisors, nonfinancial executives, financial officers, directors, etc.
Recruiting the “right volunteers” is key to the success of many nonprofits and their missions. Reality is, however, that 50 percent of volunteers turn over annually. This was true even before the pandemic and it is still true today. The pandemic has only added to the difficulty of recruiting and retaining qualified volunteers. Volunteering, sadly, for many organizations is a revolving door, and is a year-round effort just to keep more qualified new volunteers entering than leaving your organization.
There is a volunteer life cycle which every volunteer goes through. It begins with recruitment and training and moves on to supervising and managing the volunteer, and ultimately ends with either the volunteer’s voluntary departure, involuntary dismissal or, if you’ve done everything correctly, the retirement of a valued long-term volunteer. Fail at either, properly recruiting or managing a volunteer, and the final life cycle phase is more likely to end with either dismissal or voluntary departure. Do it correctly and you can expect a long and mutually rewarding experience for both the volunteer and your organization.
The use of technology in recruiting and managing volunteers and the negative impact the pandemic has had are just two examples of how volunteering has changed. Many nonprofits are using technology to identify a broader pool of potential new volunteers and to tell their story more effectively to those prospects. Also, technology is spurring some nonprofits to offer the opportunity to volunteer virtually. Responding to the health threat COVID-19 poses, on the other hand, has had a negative impact. Many nonprofits are being forced to get along with fewer volunteers or to redefine the activities of the volunteers they do have. In some cases, this has meant more responsibility for your volunteers─a significant potential liability risk for the organization.
While the life cycle is unchanged, technology and COVID-19 along with other developments call for taking a new look at how you have traditionally recruited and managed your volunteers. By doing so, you stand an excellent chance of slowing your volunteer revolving door and improving the satisfaction of your volunteers and the quality of service you provide your community. Please join Brad Lebowsky MBA, a nonprofit consultant with decades of experience helping his nonprofit clients develop and implement successful volunteer recruitment and management strategies, as he discusses each phase of the volunteer life cycle and how to adjust to the new realities of volunteer recruitment and management.
During this important webinar Mr. Lebowsky will be discussing:
- Responsibilities of the volunteer coordinator
- Using a volunteer handbook as the blueprint for both training and supervising your volunteers
- What to include or not include in your volunteer handbook(e.g. welcome letter, description of your organization and its mission, statement of management expectations, relevant organization policies and procedures, health related policies and procedures with necessary changes caused by the pandemic, training outlines, description of volunteer assignments, supervision and management responsibilities for volunteers, procedures for addressing volunteer grievances, limitations on volunteer activities and interactions with employees and clients, etc.)
- New volunteer recruitment strategies which build on proven recruiting practices and utilize technology to expand on the organization’s effort to attract quality volunteers
- Running contests, offering incentives, giveaways to attract new volunteers, volunteer job fairs, etc.
- Anticipating questions from potential volunteers and being prepared with answers
- Application process and running background checks
- Conducting a volunteer needs assessment to make sure you not only get the number of volunteers you need, but also that they have the skills you require, and are motivated to become part of your organization
- How to get the word out (e.g., PR, ask a volunteer to recruit a friend, ask your donors to volunteer, ask your volunteers to talk your organization up on social media, etc.)
- Using your website as a recruiting tool
- Training supervisors and managers to manage your volunteers effectively and legally
- Risks associated with mismanaging your volunteers both reputational and legal. For example, can a volunteer ever be considered an employee and demand to be paid? Understand the risks your volunteers pose for your organization
- How to retain good volunteers (e.g., maintaining volunteer engagement, recognition, involvement in decision making, volunteer titles, clearly explaining assignments and expectations, etc.)
- Determining why a volunteer has decided to leave and developing retention strategies to retain the volunteer
- How to weed out volunteers that aren’t working out before they cause harm
- Strategies for making virtual volunteering work. What types of assignments can be accomplished virtually? What about making computers and other equipment available to a virtual volunteer? How will information privacy and security be maintained?
- Special consideration for group volunteering, skill-based volunteers, family volunteering, etc.
Brad Lebowsky earned his MBA with an emphasis on nonprofit management specializing in finance and budgeting. Brad has more than 25 years of nonprofit management experience and is a sought-after speaker, author, and nonprofit consultant. His areas of expertise include budgeting, finance, grant writing, strategic planning, board training, retention of donors, employees, volunteers, and professional development. He is also the author of Downsizing: Alternatives for Companies; a resource for those affected, and has produced a podcast, The Career Mentor Podcast, which is available on iTunes, Spotify, and Podbean.com. Brad can be reached at Brad@4NEA.com. As a speaker, author, or consultant his overriding goals are to grow people, communities, and resources for nonprofit organizations across the country.