The Best Way to Communicate with Volunteers | Track It Forward

The Best Way to Communicate with Volunteers

Written by Jordan Galerkin

Graphic depicting woman communicating via email and text message. Text: The Best Way to Communicate with Volunteers

Good communication is key to any partnership, and the relationship between volunteer coordinators and their volunteers is no different. Organizations that rely on volunteers need to keep open channels of regular communication to make sure volunteers stay engaged and are aware of requirements, upcoming volunteer events, and more. However, it can be difficult for coordinators to keep in touch with volunteers and find a way to communicate efficiently. Coordinators will need to find a way to collect volunteer information, store it on file, and have it readily accessible for ongoing communications.

One main challenge volunteer coordinators face when it comes to volunteer communication is collecting the information and finding a way to store it. The easiest way is to collect this information up front when volunteers first sign up with the organization. This could be in the format of a volunteer sign-up form or waiver. Organizations that use volunteer software can also easily store and access this information online. Track it Forward offers a software solution that can collect and store volunteer information, track volunteer time, and contact volunteers via email or text.

Ways to Communicate with Volunteers

There are a variety of ways to communicate with volunteers including by phone call, email, and text message. These different methods of volunteer communication may be used depending on the message a coordinator is trying to communicate, or on the volunteer they’re trying to reach.

Phone icon Phone calls can work well for initial screening of volunteers or to try and reach unresponsive or inactive volunteers who haven’t responded to other methods of communication. For example, if a volunteer hasn’t responded to a text message and is late for their volunteer shift it might be a good idea to call them directly. Finally, phone calls are also a good option for communicating with volunteers who are less tech-savvy and therefore less likely to respond to text messages or emails.

Email icon Email is a common and accessible form of communication. Most volunteers will expect that they need to give their email address at the time of signing up with an organization and will look to their email for regular updates and information regarding volunteering. Therefore, it’s a great option for sending regular updates like e-newsletters, shift sign-up requests, event reminders, and more. While emails are a standard and often expected form of communication, it’s not always the fastest method for contacting volunteers.

Smartphone texting icon One of the best ways to quickly reach regular volunteers and get responses is by text message. Text messages can be used for event and shift reminders, follow-ups, and mass outreach if there is additional volunteer need. Text messages are also a good option to elicit responses quicker than by email. Volunteers may not always check their email throughout the day, but they are likely to have their phones on them and receive text notifications instantly.

Volunteer Communication Made Easy

Volunteer software can be a crucial tool for volunteer coordinators in many ways, such as volunteer data collection and time tracking. Track it Forward software offers both of these features, in addition to mass volunteer communication. With Track it Forward, coordinators can quickly and easily email and text volunteers. Coordinators can choose to communicate with all volunteers or just a subset, and they can set up automatic email and text reminders for upcoming events and shifts.

Track it Forward Volunteer Communication Text Reminder Screenshot Track it Forward’s newest feature, text messaging, allows for quick and easy volunteer communication. Volunteer coordinators will be able to set up automated text notifications for events and shifts, as well as send text messages to individuals or a subset of volunteers, all through their Track it Forward account. Volunteer contact information is securely stored within Track it Forward, making it easy for coordinators to send out messages without having to go through and find each volunteer’s individual phone number or email. With the touch of a button, volunteer communication has never been easier!

When it comes to volunteer communication, it’s important to incorporate a variety of methods to reach all volunteers. Different methods might lend themselves better to urgent communication or regular reminders, and coordinators will want to take into account their volunteer population and how they are most likely to communicate and respond.

Texting is one of the best ways to communicate with volunteers because it is fast, effective, and can elicit quick responses. Volunteer software that offers a communication feature can simplify the process. With Track it Forward, coordinators can collect volunteer contact information and use it to quickly reach out to volunteers via one-off communication or automated reminders. Want to learn more about all the features Track it Forward has to offer? Visit our features page here.