Rosterfy catches up with Oxfam Great Britain's, Head of Volunteering, Elena Laguna to discuss her top tips for volunteer engagement.
A guide to Virtual Volunteering - Rosterfy
Rosterfy takes a look at the new concept of virtual volunteering and what opportunities this presents for nonprofits, organizations and events.
In today’s digital world, virtual volunteering allows even more opportunities for communities to connect to events and causes they’re passionate about.
During the pandemic, with much of the world experiencing some form of lockdown, opportunities for volunteering face-to-face were limited. So we saw a massive growth in virtual volunteering, which provides volunteers with a great opportunity to still achieve that ‘helpers high’, all from the comfort of home.
So what is virtual volunteering?
Well as the name suggests, virtual volunteering is volunteering for a nonprofit, event or cause using technology to complete a task remotely.
Virtual volunteering roles can include:
- Content writing
- Creating web pages
- Social media and marketing
- Legal or business assistance
- Online mentoring and/or training
- Managing other online volunteers
Find out more about how to become a virtual volunteer here.
For organizations, while you may not be working with volunteers in a physical capacity, you will still need to consider a volunteer management strategy to ensure that your volunteers are engaged and retained. Don't miss these three key steps:
1. Volunteer Management Platform
The easiest way to manage your volunteers virtually is through a digital volunteer management platform. Not only does this make it easy for your volunteers to register and access opportunities but it also provides a great platform for screening, training and communication, which can all be conducted through a centralized place.
2. Train your volunteers
Just because you don’t have volunteers operating within your office or on site at an event, doesn’t mean that they don’t require training. A lot of the virtual opportunities available require an understanding of your event, organization and/or cause so take the time to educate your volunteers about your organization and ensure that they have the skills to perform the task to the best of their abilities.
3. Engage your volunteers
Given you can’t interact with your volunteers face to face and take the time to show your appreciation, engaging with your volunteers needs to be a priority when considering virtual volunteering. Consider the below engagement opportunities as part of your volunteer management strategy:
- Welcome message from Volunteer Manager or CEO (email or video)
- Competitions including cutest pet, fancy dress costume, share photos of your lunch or view
- Create private social media groups to allow your volunteers to interact with one another
- Share appreciation posts including birthdays and milestone achievements
- Send out a volunteer feedback survey and use feedback to continue to improve
This will ensure your volunteers get to reap the benefits of volunteering, including positive mental health, social engagement, feelings of pride and achievement and being part of a community.
At the same time, organisations can expand the reach of their volunteer program as they are not restricted by geographical or physical barriers, while still receiving the value of volunteering. In case you missed it, Rosterfy recently released our latest white paper focusing on the‘Value of Volunteering’.
Virtual volunteering is a great way to expand the volunteering opportunities you offer, so take the time to do it well and your nonprofit, event or cause will continue to see the benefits for many years to come.
If you’d like to learn more about how to enhance your volunteer management program using Rosterfy, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.