Volunteer Coordinator Responsibilities

Your volunteer coordinator responsibilities include recruitment, training, motivation, organization, planning, and appreciation. This page will point you in the right direction.

Recruitment

The subject of volunteer recruitment has been dealt with on the volunteer recruitment page. If you haven't done so already, go have a look there for more detail.

Training

Any good volunteer recruitment strategy must include selling an excellent volunteer training program. Your volunteer coordinator responsibilities include the creation and promotion of that training program. The volunteer training page may give you some ideas.

Motivation

Volunteer motivation is arguably the most important of all of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities. As I said previously, asking for money is difficult and it takes motivation to be able to do it effectively. Its a phobia can be overcome by enthusiasm. If your volunteers believe in your benefits then they will be naturally enthusiastic. This is why it is so important to teach your benefits often (varying it as much as is possible).

One way to make sure your volunteers are motivated during a particular campaign is to encourage them to support the campaign before they go out to ask to the public to do the same. Lets take an example where your organization is running a draw and the volunteers are going to be out selling tickets amongst your community. Encourage your volunteers to buy their tickets first before going out into the community. This makes selling much easier because the volunteers will actually feel less awkward about asking others to buy now that theyve already bought. If you do this as part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities then you'll send out more cofident volunteers.

As a leader your volunteer coordinator responsibilities involve teaching your volunteers that when they're doing something new, its natural not to feel confident about it. The only way to build confidence is to start and try the techniques. When you began to ride a bike were you confident? When you cracked it were you confident? What happened in between to make your attitude and confidence change? You tried, failed, tried failed, tried succeeded, tried and got better. You cannot build confidence without trying and failing, trying and succeeding. Use this to motivate your volunteers before they go out to sell.

Your volunteer coordinator responsibilities include getting them to look at failure as an opportunity to learn how to improve. Failure is how we learn and progress but somewhere along the line we learned that failure is a bad thing and you should avoid it at all costs. You must get away from that to start to improve. I know I have repeated this from above but it really is that important, not only in fundraising but in everything you do in your life in general.

Most people dont try anything because they are afraid of what people might say. Guess what, the people that would say anything are as self-conscious as you. Forget about what others think of you and do what you have to, in order to progress. If you succeed, great; if you fail, so what, youve learned something about what doesnt work, file it and move on to the next thing. The more you wait on things to happen the more you fall behind. Start now. If your volunteers hear this message often enough they will start to get more comfortable with the concept of selling and they will be more motivated as a result.

Your volunteer coordinator responsibilities also include looking after your volunteers. This helps them with motivation. Praise them often and spend some money on them, maybe a lunch at Christmas. Itll be a small investment compared to what they can do for you. As a leader you should make a point of praising them publicly at every opportunity, especially when they achieve their targets. Your newsletter, the local press and your website are great places to do this.

Give examples of what volunteers have achieved and the skills they have learned. Thank all your fundraisers at your annual dinner dance and at your other events. The number one motivator for any volunteer is your level of enthusiasm. When your discharging your volunteer coordinator responsibilities, always do so with as much enthusiasm as you can. Let me say that again: the number one motivator for any volunteer is your level of enthusiasm. I couldnt repeat this message often enough.

When I first really started to think about my volunteer coordinator responsibilities, I set about increasing my levels of outward enthusiasm when talking to other members of my organization. The results were astounding! I could actually visibility see others beginning to become more enthused. Suddenly I had people calling me up with their ideas! Try this the next time you talk to someone, about anything at all; youll see the effects for yourself.

Organization

Volunteer organization is another important aspect of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities. In terms of organization the first thing you should do is ensure that you form a fundraising sub-committee that meets separately from your main committee. I cannot stress how important this is. Even before I discovered the magic of relationship building through the powers of persuasion, I had been advised to set up a fundraising sub-committee by a friend.

The fundraising sub-committee dealt with nothing else other than fundraising activities. Our fundraising increased by about 30% the first year we set up that sub-committee. Prior to that we had been dealing with fundraising as part of our normal committee and it didnt get the attention it required because of other administrative activities. Now dont get me wrong, the 30% increase didnt come about because we were any better at fundraising. We were still using the old ineffective methods.

The key difference was that we were much more focused on fundraising because it was the only thing, which that sub-committee focused on. It's part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities to ensure that volunteers are focused on fundraising.

Not everyone who carries out fundraising for your organization needs to sit on the fundraising sub-committee. Maybe in the early days when you have only 4 or 5 fundraisers it makes sense for everyone to be on it but when that number rises to above 10, then I would keep the sub-committee down to 5 or 6. That said I never turn anyone down if they express an interest in being on it.

Try to get a good mix of people on the fundraising sub-committee in terms of, youth and experience, male and female, optimistic and realistic. I try to pick someone relatively new to be the leader of that group, rather than one of the more experienced people. Certainly the more experienced people will be the main advisors but the idea is to get the newer people to take more ownership and often youll find they have newer, fresher ideas. Dont be afraid to take a chance on new people even if they fail because its only through failure that you truly learn lasting lessons.

Give the group some targets and measure those separately from any other regular fundraising efforts youve got going. Connect those targets to the funding of some of your organizations activities that wont receive funding from elsewhere (internally or externally), i.e. it stands or falls on their efforts. Allow the committee to run independently of other organization activities, but ensure that it reports into the full committee once a month.

The point I am going to make now really only applies to larger community organizations but feel free to experiment if you wish. When you have established a fundraising sub-committee that looks after the entire fundraising for your organization, make sure you continue to recruit new fundraisers anyway. What you can do then is set up a series of mini-projects for groups of new fundraisers, and then you assign an experienced person to each group.

This gives the newcomers challenges that they perhaps wouldnt get if they were to join in with your organizations general fundraising populous. They may feel out of place with too many experienced people around them; at least to start with. You can also try this with groups of young people, by way of introducing them to the freedoms that come with being self-sufficient. We get some of your young teams to organize themselves to raise money for new playing kits. We just give them a few pointers and let them loose. This is good practice as part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities.

When youre setting targets for groups of fundraisers be very clear about what you want them to achieve and put it in writing. If appropriate write down the milestones. Track the milestones because sometimes the group might need a little push in the right direction. They must feel as if they are succeeding and ideally its better if they succeed on their own but its better to give a required push than for them to feel significant failure at any point.

When they are going out to sell to the public then sometimes it is good to send an experienced volunteer with them so that they can see and hear how to sell (in easy and hard situations). Its one thing learning the theory but its another putting it into practice. Sometimes its good to have them practice on each other before hand in a few different situations (in their training). This may seem embarrassing to some volunteers but its much less embarrassing than being faced with the same situation for real and not knowing what to do! The better prepared they are to deal with any situation, the more chance you have of them being a long term volunteer.

Make sure that each person in the group has a specific set of tasks and responsibilities because they all need to feel as if they have contributed to the eventual success if they are to be happy in what they are doing. Make this part of their training in terms of teamwork training, i.e. if you are not happy with your involvement, never sit quietly and let your feelings fester, because ultimately that doesnt help anyone.

Split up your fundraisers in such a way that people know exactly who is covering what area and that you cover the entire community. Volunteer coordinator responsibilities with respect to developing your organizational skills are an important subject for you to master.

Planning

Planning is another big part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities. Youve heard the old cliché, failing to plan is planning to fail. Well, guess what? It is absolutely true. You must plan, what your fundraising objectives are for the year (in conjunction with the others on the fundraising sub-committee).

As part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities you'll need drive the discussion on how much of your revenue will come from the regular income streams (e.g. weekly or monthly), how much will come from boosters events & functions and how much from big capital campaigns. Some years you may not even run any big campaigns at all. Part of the planning is about assigning people to be in charge of various areas of your strategy.

Lack of planning is failing to fulfill your volunteer coordinator responsibilities because it means that youre not making best use of the limited time each volunteer has to give. This can have a very de-motivating effect on the volunteers, which ultimately has a stifling effect on organizational development. People perform better when they have clear direction and they can see (measurably) what they have achieved.

When the plan is done I only have three words for you: execute, track and measure. Execute the plan, track exactly what is happening on a weekly basis (make adjustments if necessary) and measure how your results match up with your plan.

Many people say to me, what is the point of planning when its always changing anyway. Theres nothing wrong with the plan changing when you have one to begin with (and there is a valid reason for the change). If you dont have a plan then you fundraising will be mediocre compared what it could be. It's a big part of your volunteer coordinator responsibilities to make sure that your fundraising is maximised with proper planning.

If youre not used to planning then to begin with it may feel strange and maybe even a little restrictive but stick with it and I guarantee you will see the benefits. Ive heard people say that they dont like plans because they spend so much time planning they dont get time to do anything. The same people spend most of their time trying to decide what they should do next and end up doing nothing! Plan, track and measure.

Volunteer coordinator responsibilities aslo extend to best practices. There are some standard best practices that you need to instill into your volunteers. The main one is: record everything. Record who got the tickets to sell, how many they got, how many they sold and the money they returned. Im just using ticket selling as an example but anytime your volunteers do anything in fundraising, which involves handling money, record it.

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