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Get efficient! Volunteer Management tips from the field

Volunteers with A Big Project in Valenciennes, France
Volunteers with A Big Project in Valenciennes, France

At NationBuilder, I work with campaigns of all sizes. Consistently, I have noticed one thing: regardless of size, many campaigns  are not using the simple but extremely useful volunteer tools NationBuilder has to offer. 

But it's not too late to start!  

You can easily create an awesome volunteer sign-up page. From recruiting for specific volunteer roles to setting up automatic follow-ups, anyone can run a sophisticated volunteer recruitment program. 

First you need to set up your volunteer roles. Roles are important when encouraging people to sign up to volunteer. It sets expectations and gives them an idea what they're doing that day. So provide options! Here are a few examples of campaign-based volunteer activities: 

  • phone banker
  • canvasser
  • house party host
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Now let's talk about your internal work flow. What do I mean by this? It's how you organize your database for both yourself and your fellow employees. In this case, the most important aspect of setting up volunteer roles isn’t the activities themselves, but the tagging structure that you will create for each role.  

This is extremely important for maintaining a healthy database with accurate data. Setting up a tagging structure for simple searching is essential for having relevant tags to use in Advanced Search within your nation. 

So how do you do this? What I tell customers is to create tags with this structure: "Volunteer – Role." Then when you are building lists of volunteers, you can quickly see a list of all your volunteer roles. 

In Advanced Search under Tag simply type in Volunteer, and a list of anything labeled "Volunteer – Role" will appear. From here mouse over the role you are searching for and click it. Any volunteer with that tag will come up. 

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So there you have it, folks! Hope this peek into volunteer management helps your volunteer nation building.