As the holidays approach, busy season is on the horizon for many nonprofits. Planning for end of year, looking ahead to the next, and preparing for the influx of fundraisers and events can keep a staff busy. To free up your employees, enlisting volunteers can be a great option. Plus, during the holidays, many people are looking for ways to give back.

To manage the demands of the holiday season’s events and fundraisers, it’s important for nonprofits of all sizes to prepare with a well-thought-out volunteer management process. Putting a plan in place can help recruit and retain volunteers, increase engagement with your community, and free up your employees for larger year-end initiatives.

When you’re drafting and implementing a volunteer management plan, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Maintain communication

Clear communication is key in any business. When you’re communicating with volunteers outside of your organization, it’s important to contact them in a way that’s not intrusive or inconvenient. Consider sending emails and giving the option to opt in for text messages from your organization. Be approachable and keep the lines of communication open. Make sure it’s easy for volunteers to sign up and get in touch with your volunteer coordinator if they have any questions.

Provide incentives

To help make your events fun and to show your appreciation, give away prizes, snacks, T-shirts, or other items to your volunteers. It’ll increase motivation and encourage them to return for future projects and events.

Create leadership opportunities

When a volunteer goes above and beyond, recognize their hard work and encourage them to lead others in the group. Showing volunteers that you’re open to new ideas and trust their opinions will empower your team. Plus, it may lead to new processes for your organization.

Invest in tech

Volunteer management software is a great tool to help you stay on top of scheduling, attendance, fundraising, and logistics. Purchasing devices like cell phones and tablets can help you communicate in real time and streamline volunteer check-in.

Show impact

Find concrete ways to show your volunteers the impact they’ve made on your nonprofit. Whether it’s sharing impressive data or personal stories from the people they’ve helped, it’s rewarding to see the difference their time and talents have made.

With these initiatives, you’ll have the tools in place to provide a great volunteer experience, stay organized, achieve your goals, and end the year strong.

At Wintrust, we’re proud to give back to the communities we call home. That’s why we’ve created Wintrust Government, Non-Profit, Healthcare, which caters to the unique needs of nonprofits with a suite of competitive products.