How to Successfully Leverage a Small Staff and Many Volunteers

Many nonprofits struggle with the same problem: “our staff is tiny and our needs are great.” So how do you work around this issue? Volunteers. Luckily, there are always people who care about what your organization does and want to see you succeed. Here are a few tips on how to manage your volunteers, especially when you have a smaller staff.

Keep your records straight

Unfortunately, volunteers come and go. Because they have different schedules and priorities than your regular staff, it can be tricky to get people who will be able to show up and help out on a consistent basis. However, just because someone hasn’t shown up to the last two events doesn’t mean they’ve become uninterested in helping your organization. Keep contact information for all your volunteers and make sure you reach out when new opportunities come up. Using a CRM or other database can help you manage these records and update them with any relevant details. 

Communication is key

Things change. New locations, different start times, and cancellations can all disrupt your ability to organize volunteers and successfully host an event or finish a project. Make sure you have an easy, effective way of communicating any updates or new opportunities to your volunteer community. Email updates, text blasts, or online event hosting services are all options when it comes to getting the word out quickly and accurately.

Ask for help when you need it

Sometimes you have a project or task that requires special skills or needs to be done at an unusual time. When your staff can’t complete it on their own, there no harm in reaching out to your volunteers to see if anyone has the time or skill to help you out. Volunteers come with a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, chances are one of them can help.

Volunteers are the backbone of many nonprofit organizations. Hopefully these tips help you organize and engage your community when you need them most. If you have an event coming up and want to get the word out, post it on our Boston Charity Events website.


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