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Seven Tips to Capitalize on Volunteer Resources During Tight Financial Times

When cash resources are tight, the value of volunteer resources assumes additional importance to nonprofits and governmental organizations. Every volunteer hour is value added to the organization. In Minnesota, the value of the volunteer time is an estimated economic contribution of $3.4 billion dollars annually.

With well-planned and well-executed efforts, it is possible to bring an increased share of those resources to your organization during these challenging financial times. The Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration offers these tips to maximize the value volunteer resources bring to enabling organizations to survive tight financial times.

  1. Maintain the volunteer manager position, even if faced with the need to make cuts, as the dollar value he/she brings to the organization is many time his/her salary costs.
  2. Intensify the impact of volunteer recruitments messages by drawing powerful images from media attention about increased needs.
  3. Look for new pools of volunteers such as job seekers or people who want to give gifts of skills and time because they are less able to give financially.
  4. Assess the organization for new ways volunteers can meet community needs and reduce staff stress.
  5. Avoid any perceptions that volunteer might be used to replace staff.
  6. Make sure there are volunteer opportunities that do not require out of pocket costs.
  7. Increase your ability to take advantage of opportunities available through use of volunteer talent by ensuring that leaders of volunteers are well trained in the best practices for volunteer management, and by placing the volunteer manage on the management team, is he/she is not already on it.

Source: Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration

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