There are thousands of organizations that rely on volunteer support. Many of them, you wouldn’t even know are volunteer positions. Have you ever been to a concert and passed by members of the Red Cross or St. John Ambulance? Those are likely volunteers. The people greeting you at events for various fundraisers for illnesses or physical conditions? Likely volunteers. For the people running these organizations, recruiting, registering, and onboarding those volunteers can be a process that requires a lot of time and attention. It’s a point during the event planning process that can be streamlined and allow attention to be directed to other tasks.
Without volunteers there are events that cannot proceed, organizations that cannot fundraise, and so many more vital services that become unavailable or ineffective. So, the registration process is essential to ensure that each and every event is staffed, has a backup list of volunteers who can step in, and is worked by the most qualified people possible. Sending out outreach emails, contacting applicants that qualify, and ensuring that you have an on-call list of backups in case someone gets sick or can’t attend can take up a lot of time. Not only that, but the time that you spend on these manual contact points is hard to monitor and is time that you could spend doing other things.
This is why an automated new volunteer registration process will help you to save some time and money, while also making sure that everything runs smoothly. Efficiency will go up, your volunteer drives will become more effective, and you’ll have strategies in place that very few other organizations have adopted yet, putting you on the cutting edge of your industry.
What is an automated volunteer registration process?
In general terms, an automated volunteer registration process helps you register volunteers and continue to manage them up to and during events and emergency call outs. Not only does it make it easier to generate more volunteers at a time, but it helps to manage them and plan out who needs to be where and when. Let’s compare the manual process with an automatic one.
In a manual process, first the recruiter has to make people aware that they need volunteers. This can be done through a website, posters, emails, and more. Sending out those messages however, can be extremely time consuming and require hours if not days to complete. Even if the organizer were to send a single, mass email organized from a manual list, the construction of those things can take quite a bit of time. Once the messages are out, then the recruiter has to wait for responses to come in, answer questions, review applications, and organize a list of volunteers for various roles. They also have to send thank you messages to applicants and encourage them to join a list of backups in case they don’t wish to volunteer for this particular event but may be available for future events.
In an automated solution, the recruitment would be done through a handful of templated emails that could be personalized based on signups that were captured by a form on the website. Once the form was filled out, there could be a secondary form that catalogues expertise and skills as well as tags each volunteer’s profile in the database accordingly. Each email that goes out from there can be personalized to the skillset and desired events of the individual volunteer. Regardless of the status of the volunteer applicant, a thank you message can be automatically sent out. Now that the initial recruitment is over, the recruiter can also put people on a call list that will automatically be reached out to if there is a vacancy or cancellation. This list can be activated based on the tags applied to the volunteer profiles at the beginning of the process with a targeted alert that has limited space for responses. Suddenly, nearly the whole process is running smoothly and without requiring much human interference.
How to set up an automated volunteer registration process
You can set up a pretty simple initial recruitment process and build on it from there. Here are four easy steps to create your own automated new volunteer registration process.
Step 1: Collect volunteer data
The entire recruitment process relies on having a way to capture and collect volunteer data. In order to do that, you need a landing page or form on your website that is dedicated to capturing the information for potential recruits. That will be the basis of the rest of your process and provide you with a database of people interested in supporting your organization. The information capturing process that you set up will also help the contact database filter applicants into different groups depending on their input.
Step 2: Templated, personalized messaging
As potential volunteers sign up, they should receive a templated, personalized thank you message via whatever medium they indicated as their preferred contact method. By reading the tags applied to the contact database profiles in the signup process, the messaging service should be sending specific messages to the correct volunteers. These personalized messages have a higher rate of engagement and allow users to respond to them in different ways. For email, users can confirm their availability through a call to action, for example. Via SMS, a reply can be sent via text, and phone calls can be responded to with a button press on the phone.
Step 3: Manage automatic emails based on interviews
Of course, in any recruitment process there are moments that can’t be automated. Even here though, there are ways that you can make use of the interviews and the manual processes in order to keep the volunteer recruits moving through an automated process. By tagging user profiles, or adding certain information to user profiles, the recruiter can decide which automated emails a recruit will get. Onboarding information, personalized thank you emails, even information on the next event can be added to an automatic email that will go out when a decision has been made.
Step 4: Have a backup
Once you have a solid list of volunteers for the event, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve registered enough to account for illnesses or other last-minute opt-outs. These would likely be candidates who were listed as ideal during the initial signup process but there was simply not enough opportunities for them at the time.
That’s all there is to it! A clean contact management process that allows you to recruit and specialize volunteers almost entirely automatically. The best part is, a solution that incorporates all of the features talked about here is already in place.
Where can I find this solution?
SimplyCast has developed a new volunteer registration solution that is ready to go. We use our own marketing automation software, CRM, and Recall tool that can be used to recruit new volunteers, call in backup volunteers and overall make managing volunteer recruitment feel much easier. The steps listed above were created using our tools. This means even if you need something just a little more personal to your business, we can help you reconfigure the flow of the process to do exactly what you need, when you need to do it.
We maintain a 99.5% uptime, so you’ll almost never have to worry about being able to access your work, and no matter how big or small you or your dreams are, we can scale with you. On top of all of this, the platform is versatile enough to be used in numerous other scenarios that your organization could benefit from, so you’ll be getting return on investment across the whole business!
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