What to look for in your next Volunteer Manager

Louis Eastwell, Senior Consultant at Prospectus, explains the top four digital skills every charity’s Volunteer Manager needs.

Guest Writer | 14th Nov 18
Image shows a group of smiling charity volunteers. Volunteer Managers increasingly need a foundation of digital skills to help connect and manage volunteers to drive impact.

This article was written by Louis Eastwell, Senior Consultant at Prospectus – one of the UK’s leading recruitment specialists for the nonprofit industry. Founded in 1956, ProspectUs places over 2,000 people a year across all levels in their ideal role.


 

Volunteers add value to charities in so many ways: they engage a more diverse range of skills, experience and knowledge; they often act as an ambassador that raises awareness about your cause as well as your organisation; they build relationships within the community in which you work and of course; and importantly, help deliver your service or projects.

Being able to connect with, and inspire, your volunteers is more crucial than ever. This is where digital skills can make an impact.

54% of organisations in 2018’s Digital Skills Report say that digital skills would help them co-ordinate volunteers more effectively.

With digital skills and knowledge taking a more prominent position in more and more organisations – what digital skills should you look for in your next Volunteer Manager?

 

  1. Digital communication

Volunteers want and need to stay connected to their organisation. Giving them the opportunity to have input on their involvement ensures continued commitment and allows them to be part of the wider community.

Volunteer Managers today need to understand and utilise the different tools they can now use to keep your charity’s volunteers connected, such as digital portals, social media, or online groups.

 

  1. Digital marketing

Volunteer Managers need to be inventive. They don’t just use a job advert when looking for volunteers but instead need to explore other avenues.

When competing with a vast number of different demands on people’s time, Volunteer Managers need to think creatively and use digital campaigns to reach people they couldn’t before, whether through the use of Facebook, University/Student groups, pay per click advertising or even Google Grants.

 

  1. Big picture thinking

Volunteer Managers that aren’t restrained by policies and procedures, but instead use digital and data analysis to make informed decisions, often see greater impact.

This includes giving volunteers the opportunity to feedback and shape what they are doing, which in turn gives organisations the ability to adapt.

 

  1. Digital strategy

When recruiting and managing volunteers, you need to know what you want to achieve – it can’t just be a scatter gun effect. Volunteer Managers shouldn’t focus on what has always been done, but instead have the ability to look forward strategically at what could be done.

They need to look at how digital works across the organisation, connecting teams and functions rather than working in silo.

 

On the look out for your next digitally-skilled hire? Check out Charity Digital Jobs – a new platform launched by ProspectUs and Charity Digital News to help charities find the best digital talent.