Knowing if it's time...for a refresh

We're busy. I get it. It's easy to keep going through the to-do list, dealing with one issue at a time, and never stopping to evaluate: Does our system need an update? Do we need to look at our materials with fresh eyes?

Here's how to know if your volunteer management system needs an upgrade:

  1. Everything is still on paper. If the entire system is paper-based and you're buried in stacks, it might be time to look at how you can move pieces of your system to an online or digital file method.
  2. You're not sure when your position descriptions were last updated. If there's not a date on the bottom (or it's more than 18 months ago), or you can't remember the last time you went through your position descriptions with a careful eye, it's time to regroup.
  3. If you haven't recruited a new volunteer in more than a month. If you've got the same crew of dedicated people getting the job done, day after day, you could probably use some fresh energy in your team, or something's not right in your system. 

What to do about it...

  • Get a work group together. If you don't have the capacity to do it yourself right now, form a work group (or - the word we try to avoid - "committee") to review your system and make suggestions/improvements.
  • Do it yourself. Set aside the time and get focused on reviewing everything and making the updates you need, before 2017. 
  • Get motivated with a start-up group. Right now, I'm looking for 10 non-profit professionals to join me in a pilot group this November/December to start-up or revamp their volunteer program. You’ll leave the group with written position descriptions, marketing and recruitment messaging, and a plan for training and orientation. If you're interested in learning more, send me an email at