Volunteer Management Admin Guide (Chapter 2): Organizing Your Program
Chapter 2: Organizing Your Program
All right, let’s go...
The biggest step is choosing to begin a volunteer program in the first place. If you’re reading this, you’re already there. So, congrats!
Next, you’ll need to determine how to organize your volunteer fundraisers.
By using a flexible pool system to organize teams of fundraisers around a shared goal, Volunteer Management makes it simple to design and execute any type of program.
Types of Program Structures to Consider
FYI, we cover these different ways to organize your program through interviews with program managers in the Volunteer Fundraising Playbook.
- Class Year/Reunion
- This old standby is the most popular type of volunteer fundraising program. We’ve seen schools have success by forming teams of volunteers in each class, often under the leadership of one or more “head agents” who help create assignments and track progress.
- This is another common format. Tapping families and leadership volunteers to reach out to their shared networks is an effective approach, especially with EverTrue’s ability to include or remove historic giving information from pools. Some schools even have current parents reach out to welcome families of newly admitted students, as well.
- Regional programs are great ways to connect alumni, parents, and friends across the age spectrum and foster in-person meetings.
- Look for past supporters of your athletics-related funds to tap as volunteers, then empower them to solicit other fans and ticket holders.
- This format quite possibly holds the most potential and EverTrue’s simple, yet powerful searches make it achievable. You can use keyword searches around Facebook Content Engagement, giving history, and contact reports or interactions to identify solicitors and prospects who have similar passions. Tap into those strong ties!
- Crowdfunding / One-off Campaigns
- Create volunteer pools around specific initiatives, whether it’s a new building or a club or scholarship program. Support these short-term campaigns via peer-to-peer outreach!
Build Your Internal Team
Organizing volunteers is a big undertaking, especially if you’re starting a brand new program. It’s completely worth the effort (schools with peer-to-peer programs are five times more likely to have stellar participation rates). But you’ll need to build your team to maximize success.
Be sure to define these important internal roles and keep your Customer Success Manager in the loop so we can keep informed with the news and product updates they’ll need.
This is the person who’s in charge of the success of the entire program, defines strategy, and leads the team.
EverTrue Point of Contact
Responsible for the day-to-day coordination with EverTrue, this is the staff member who works directly with volunteers and the EverTrue customer success team. They’ll also be tasked with leading the training for your internal staff, using resources like this guide, our help site, and our volunteer-facing help site. They may also be the program director.
Usually in advancement services, the data contact is responsible for working with EverTrue Support to feed data regularly into the Volunteer Management platform.
You’ll need to designate a person or a team for helping volunteers log into the app and answer technical questions on how to run searches, log interactions, track reporting, and more. We’ve already got your back with a volunteer-facing help site, but your volunteers will come to you first with questions. Make sure your team is ready with FAQ docs and login information.
Create Volunteer Pools
Once you’ve chosen your approach and built your team, it’s time to set up your fundraising pools. Volunteer Management makes it easy to organize multiple teams of volunteers around shared goals—create as many pools as you need!
For more on creating pools and adding volunteers and prospects, visit the Volunteer Management help site.
Here’s what you’ll need to consider as you set up your volunteer pools:
- Who is responsible for volunteer management and tracking success?
- Typically, someone on your advancement team (maybe you!) holds responsibility for setting assignments, communicating with volunteers in a pool, and setting goals.
- With every pool you create, determine who’s in charge. It could be a team member or a long-time volunteer, but whoever it is, be clear about their role and get them involved early on.
- How many pools do you need to create?
- EverTrue makes this easy with virtually unlimited pools, but try starting small to keep management at a minimum.
- Determine the size of your pools. How many volunteers do you need per prospect?
- Are you going to have one volunteer solicit 10 prospects or 100? In speaking with schools across the country, we’ve found that the most successful programs have low prospect-to-volunteer ratios. In most cases, we recommend assigning 25 or fewer prospects to each volunteer.
- With a smaller number of assignments, volunteers will be able to really personalize their outreach, maximizing the impact of your peer-to-peer fundraising program.
- How will you make assignments?
- You can pre-select prospects for volunteers to contact or you can allow volunteers to self-select their prospects based on shared interest or prior relationships.
- We recommend letting volunteers choose their assignments since it helps them buy-in from Day 1 and generates excitement early in the process. You can edit these assignments later on, if needed.
- You can also make joint assignments in EverTrue, with one volunteer tagged to solicit a married couple, for example.
- What info will you share?
- You can customize the constituent information you display in each pool. Decide early if you need to share all/some/none of giving history and what contact information volunteers will need to do their jobs.
Check out our help site for tips and tutorials when you’re ready to start creating pools and adding volunteers or prospects.
Continue to Chapter 3: Volunteer Job Description and Outreach Calendar