The very nature of volunteerism has changed over the years. Decades ago, event coordinators would post hundreds of flyers to see how many people would show up. Then volunteers often stood around until they were needed. In the digital age, however, a volunteer's time and skills are highly valuable commodities -- and volunteerism has become an essential means for a company to achieve a high ROI. So if you're managing an event this year, we've gathered four volunteer management trends for 2020 that you'll want to pay attention to.
A major trend in 2020 is the use of formal training for volunteerism. From online tutorials to Skype orientations, to on-site training sessions, volunteers are receiving structured, thorough training that prepares them for pre-defined roles and tasks -- sometimes weeks before the event takes place. As a result, today's trained volunteers are focused and know exactly what needs to be done and where they're supposed to be once the big day arrives.
2. Special Skillset
The primary age group that volunteers is also changing. Up until the present, Generation X and Baby Boomers comprised the majority of volunteers, Volunteer U reports. And it's predicted that this fact will change in the years to come, with Millennials and Generation Z expected to take the lead. This younger volunteer generation is tech-savvy, visually oriented, purpose-driven, and eager to make an impact on their world. Simply stated, they're looking for ways to use their skill sets. A great way to capitalize on that expectation is to post customized applications online, which allows volunteers to list their special skills. That way, you can match them with the appropriate roles and tasks.
3. Retention comes first
Another big trend is putting volunteer retention before recruitment and acquisition, according to Volunteer Hub's take on 2020 volunteer trends. Engaging your volunteers, getting feedback from them on what works and what doesn't, and showing them that their efforts are worthwhile are all proven ways to retain dedicated volunteer staff.
4. Embracing mobile technology
Lastly, Volunteer Hub finds that more non-profits are taking advantage of the fact that over 2.1 billion people have smartphones. In 2020, you'll see volunteer managers investing in digital tools that work with all mobile phones. And the very best event tools are designed to streamline every aspect of the volunteer management experience. Leading event management technology like InitLive allows you to conduct online recruitment, provide self-registration, handle scheduling, post online training and tutorials, and much more.
InitLive offers an all-in-one experience where you can manage your volunteers, engage in direct communication, and handle all your safety needs through one mobile device. For more information on how you can transform your volunteer management program with InitLive, please contact us.