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Volunteers are the backbone of a non-profit organisation to help achieve their mission and make a positive impact on society. As a crucial component of a successful nonprofit, managing volunteers can be a daunting task when resources are limited. A nonprofit can meet this challenge by embracing innovative digital technology. With the ability to support digital transformation, Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits can assist companies in efficiently managing their volunteer programs.
Challenges in Volunteer Management
In today's fast-paced world, nonprofits spend a lot of time and money on routine manual and time-taking work managing volunteers for their programs. Let us discuss the major pain points of volunteer management:
Lack of Relevant Volunteers
In a competitive environment, nonprofits find it challenging to attract relevant volunteers who will become an asset to them. With the traditional way, it is not possible to reach out to interested volunteers with specific job descriptions.
Volunteer Burnout and Lack of Appreciation
Nonprofits deal with volunteer burnout as volunteers hardly get their share of appreciation and support for their overburdened work due to poor volunteer management. If they are unable to find additional suitable volunteers for the programs and schedule shifts effectively for the ones they already have, this will lead to overworked volunteers and occasionally inefficient work delivery.
Unorganised Volunteer Scheduling & Management
Without the aid of technology, volunteer managers cannot control a sizable number of volunteers and assign them to specifically scheduled shifts as per their interests and skills. Due to their inability to monitor volunteer working hours and work behaviours, managers struggle to assign the appropriate volunteers to a scheduled shift.
Lack of Real-Time Tracking and Volunteer Support When Needed
A typical volunteer challenge is having enough people available for shifts. Without real-time information, it is difficult to anticipate any volunteer availability for different programs. The lack of dedicated volunteer tracking software makes it difficult for managers to keep track of volunteer attendance to learn about their applied leaves or absence.
Poor Volunteer Retention & Communication
For successful program delivery, retaining experienced volunteers is one of the most essential tasks. Lack of effective communication is a common volunteer issue that can cause volunteers to leave an organisation because they feel unsupported or disconnected from their mission.
Major Solutions to Transform your Nonprofits
Working with volunteers interested in helping revolutionise nonprofit organisations for the greater good to drive more positive change in society is the best course of action. Therefore, these organisations need fresh, cutting-edge approaches to find exemplary volunteers to advance their mission and broaden their services.
Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits
Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits is a comprehensive solution to deliver scalable and transformative mission impact leveraging the capabilities of Dynamics 365 product solutions, Microsoft 365 applications, and Microsoft Azure. It offers a volunteer management solution that combines Volunteer Management App and Volunteer Engagement Portal to address all volunteer management challenges in nonprofits.
Volunteer Management App
Volunteer Management is a Power App that is a part of Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits. It is built with Nonprofit Common Data Model as its foundation and integrated with the Volunteer Engagement Power Portal. With Volunteer Management, organisations can optimise end-to-end volunteer activities and manage relationships with volunteers.
Volunteer Engagement Portal
Volunteer Engagement is a Power Portal that enables volunteers to find and apply for relevant engagement opportunities. The portal supports filters based on location, date, qualifications, and preferences making it user-friendly for volunteers to apply without any complications.
Major Features & Benefits of Volunteer Management Solution
Now that we have covered you with major volunteer management solutions, let us discuss in detail the major features and benefits to understand the impact. The solution introduces two dashboards to help nonprofits with real-time insights into volunteer activities.
With the help of this dashboard, volunteer managers can easily go through engagement opportunities and review volunteer applications for final approval. The dashboard comes with the facility to view engagement details and applications date-wise to have a clear idea about the progress of published engagements and upcoming notifications.
Engagement Opportunity Tracking Dashboard
This dashboard empowers the volunteer managers with information about the number of engagements and participation of volunteers by month. It enables them to carry out a comparative analysis of the number of volunteers across all engagement opportunities.
Why do we need to use Volunteer Management Solution?
To increase productivity and keep up with the rapidly changing and evolving world, technology is essential in removing tedious manual tasks. With the volunteer management solution, nonprofits can use most of their resources to increase efficiency with less time and effort. The key benefits of this solution are to enhance recruiting, onboarding, and engaging volunteers through one centralised location. Volunteer management solutions have a range of benefits that can support seamless interactions between the organisation and the volunteers.
Case Study: Seamless Volunteers Management with Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits
Leading Australia’s nonprofit organisation has exclusively chosen Dynamics Square to help revolutionise volunteer management issues with innovative technology for effective program delivery without interruption. The nonprofit organisation is a research and conservation group founded with a mission to protect the world’s marine and coastal ecosystems. The organisation carries out worldwide programs to conserve ancient creatures to maintain the health of the marine environment. They are trying to conserve and recover the sea turtle population from extinction with skilled and committed volunteers, through research, education, and advocacy.
What are the Challenges?
- The nonprofit organisation was facing issues with engaging the relevant volunteers to carry out a successful sea turtle protection program
- They were not satisfied with their traditional way of managing volunteers
- They wanted to implement a cloud technology solution to track volunteer movements to achieve their mission impact
- The Organisation wanted to streamline all their activities and power the seamless flow of data between the volunteers to retain volunteer satisfaction for better productivity
- Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits provides Volunteer Management and Volunteer Engagement solutions to revolutionise the nonprofit organisation for effective program delivery
- This enabled the nonprofit organisation to publish engagement opportunities based on qualifications, skills, and shifts required. Additionally, the volunteers can also learn more about the opportunities and apply for them using the Volunteer Engagement Portal, depending on their interests and availability
- The Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofit made it possible for the volunteers to undergo required specific training programs and update their profiles based on their skills on the portal
- The Volunteer Management App gave users access to real-time data to monitor volunteer onboarding, attendance, and the impact of volunteer programs. To increase the overall effectiveness of the program, the organisation can analyse which volunteers are the most active and engaged and schedule their shifts accordingly
- The real-time synchronisation empowered the nonprofit organisation to understand the volunteer perspective which aids in generating satisfaction and retaining pertinent volunteers
Benefits (How It Made a Difference?)
- The Volunteer Management solution assisted the organisation to take part in waste management improvement for cleaning up sea beaches with relevant volunteers
- Trained volunteers educated children about environmental conservation and empowered the company to protect the endangered sea turtle population
- They retained experienced volunteers, and with their knowledge, volunteers conducted underwater surveys for the data collection on coral reefs and turtle breeding for the local government
- By tracking volunteers’ engagement schedule shifts, they enlisted volunteers in beach patrolling responsibilities
In conclusion, Microsoft Cloud for Nonprofits offers innovative tools and services that can help Nonprofits to conduct personalised volunteer interactions efficiently. The solution empowers effective volunteer management, improves communication, increases volunteer satisfaction, and provides flexibility and customisation with enhanced data management capabilities.
If you are reading this, why wait, please contact our Dynamics 365 Experts to transform your nonprofits now to widen the reach of social impact and spread positive change in society.
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