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Collaboration. The key to engaging your volunteers - Rosterfy

As the saying goes, there’s no ‘i’ in team. But have you ever thought about how your team might be able to help the broader community?

It may be stating the obvious, but volunteering provides an incredible opportunity for individuals to give back in meaningful ways. Alongside the more obvious economic benefits, results have shown that volunteering has huge social and physical benefits, providing a great source of knowledge and the opportunity for cultural exchange and personal development. 

In a year dominated by lockdowns and isolations, a large number of the community were last year denied the opportunity to volunteer. This unfortunately saw a huge increase in the demand for mental health services with stress, anxiety and depression at an all time high. Fortunately, as we adapt to new ways of operating, volunteering is likely to see a return in 2021 providing individuals around the world with the opportunity to reap the rewards of volunteering. 

One growing trend we have seen amongst clients and in the volunteering community is the need to be collaborative when it comes to volunteering. 

An organisation's volunteer database is closely guarded, which makes sense! We understand how difficult it can be to recruit and retain your volunteers. However with some organisations forced to take their events virtual and others forced to postpone volunteering programs entirely, engaging your volunteers has arguably been more difficult than ever. One way to combat this, is to become more collaborative.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have conversations with a number of leaders in the not-for-profit and charity space where we have discussed the concept of sharing volunteers across various responses and needs, much like what has happened during the pandemic – and digital technology and enablement sits at the centre of this concept to give volunteers the ability to be involved as an when they need/want to. 

This is also a concept also discussed on a recent episode of our podcast “The Engaged Volunteer” where Tami Richter, Director of Events, Staffing and Volunteer at SXSW explained how important collaboration with the broader community had opened up additional volunteering opportunities for individuals, many of whom get involved  for the community feel and social experience.

As part of their volunteer management program, SXSW now shares broader volunteering opportunities with their database to enable their volunteers to engage with additional experiences in new and meaningful ways. This in turn benefits SXSW, who are able to keep their volunteers engaged despite the reduction in opportunities. 

With volunteering providing an incredible opportunity to network and upskill, the more active an individual can be within their community not only helps the organisations for which they serve but the community as a whole with more individuals skilled and healthy (socially and physically) to assist. 

I’m always keen to speak with anyone who wants to learn more volunteer engagement and if you’d like to learn more about how Rosterfy could assist with this and any general volunteer management needs, I’m happy to have a chat about that too! Please book some time in my diary if you're keen to chat.