The Best (Free!) Tool for Managing Volunteering Partnerships
Most nonprofits out there are looking for ways to develop strong volunteering partnerships with schools, municipalities, and local businesses. These partnerships can be fruitful in so many ways. From group volunteering, to volunteer grants, to donation drives, to furthering your reach, and more.
Let’s explore why volunteering partnerships are such a great resource, how to cultivate them, and the best tool out there for managing these partnerships.
The Power of Volunteer Partnerships
Nonprofit organizations can leverage volunteer partnerships as a dynamic resource to amplify their impact. These collaborations extend beyond just volunteer support, encompassing group initiatives, volunteer grants, and donation drives, providing multifaceted benefits for both parties. There are so many benefits to all partners, and the community at large.
👉 Read more tips for volunteer management
🌐 Strengthen community ties through shared goals
Working with other organizations and businesses strengthens the community in so many ways. Primarily, it encourages collaboration toward shared goals that tangibly improve the lives of your neighbors.
Whenever you’re developing partnerships, we encourage working with orgs who share in your vision of success. If you want to partner with businesses, seek out companies who have values, initiatives, or experience that complement your mission.
For example, partnerships with shared goals can look like:
- Goal: A local animal shelter wants to double the amount of food and toy donations in a month. Seek out orgs for partners that already love animals, like a local pet supply company or business that has bring your pet to work days. They can host a community donation drive or make donations themselves.
- Goal: A garden education nonprofit wants to create a summer program for lower income students. By partnering with organizations who have similar values or needed resources, this initiative can come to life beautifully. Partnering with a local garden center for soil and seed donations as well as group volunteering can help with resources. Or engaging with other nonprofits like a farmer coalition or farmer’s market can help with providing education or more resourcing.
Those are just a couple of examples of aligned partnerships that can help amplify your mission by providing resources and expertise, as well as time and energy through volunteering.
🤝 Enhance organizational reach by tapping into diverse volunteer networks
We know that younger generations are more diverse than ever, both racially and in their gender identities. And we also know that young people often feel disillusioned with the world as we see massive problems get more complicated (like climate change and income inequality and homelessness, just to name a few). But young people want to do more good, and they want ways to support their communities.
By partnering with schools, local young professional groups, companies, or other nonprofits led by youth or historically marginalized groups, you can tap into a diverse volunteer pool of people who want to create true impact.
💼 Facilitate employee engagement for corporate partners through volunteer programs
There’s no shortage of stories about what it’s like to work in corporate America. Long hours, unfulfilling work, high stress, disconnection…the list can go on. But do you know what most employees overwhelmingly love and support?
Company volunteering days and social responsibility initiatives.
In fact, 71% of employees think it’s important to work for a company that gives back, and 89% think that companies with sponsored volunteer opportunities have a better working environment. Corporate volunteering is beneficial both to your nonprofit organization, and to your partners.
And, having corporate partners also opens up the doors to additional funding streams. Employee volunteers may be more likely to donate—especially if their employer has a matching gift program.
Cultivating Strong Volunteer Partnerships
Building and nurturing effective volunteer partnerships require intentional strategies. It’s not just about getting volunteers; it’s about establishing lasting relationships that contribute to the long-term success of your organization. So how do you actually do that?
🌱 Develop a clear value proposition for potential volunteer partners, showcasing the mutual benefits
This is where finding aligned partners is key. Focusing on partnering with organizations who have causes and interests in common can make it quite easy to showcase mutual benefits. A food pantry working with grocery retailers or local restaurants for food donations and group volunteering initiatives can help boost public image, reduce waste, and help employees feel that their work is meaningful.
You can also share the more general benefits of volunteering partnerships, like these:
- 93% of people say volunteering improves their mood and lowers stress
- Volunteering improves physical health as well as mental health
- Over 80% of hiring managers prefer candidates with volunteer experience – a great point to make for potential university partners!
🎯 Tailor volunteer opportunities to align with the goals and values of partner organizations
Work with your partners to figure out how volunteering can help with their goals. Maybe a company wants to build up their CSR program and create positive impact in the community. You can showcase how volunteering or matching donations can help them get there. Or, maybe your partner wants to allow their newer employees to build up professional skills through pro-bono work with your organization.
Understanding your corporate or school partner’s needs upfront can help you make sure that your work together feels mutually beneficial. That will lend longevity to your collaboration, as having mutual goals and priorities makes working together feel like a worthwhile investment.
📈 Share the impact you’ve made together
This is KEY! Effort with visible rewards keeps people engaged and wanting more. Make sure that your volunteer partners understand immediately why the tasks they help with matter. This can look like sharing how their activity benefits your clients on the days they volunteer. Or it can look like sharing client testimonials of how impactful your programs have been for them.
But sharing impact also means letting your partner organizations know the total impact of their involvement with you. Share metrics that orgs will want to see, such as:
- The total number of volunteers from their org
- How many volunteers came more than 1x
- How many volunteers donated
- The amount of donations (+ matches if applicable!)
- The total number of volunteer events attended
- The total number of volunteer hours
- The economic impact of their volunteer hours
- AND of course, any tangible outcomes for your mission that you can track (such as numbers from a donation drive, clients served, people reached, etc.)
The Best (Free!) Tool for Managing Volunteer Partnerships
If you want to create impactful partnerships but are already feeling stretched thin, we’ve got a great resource for you. POINT offers a comprehensive and free platform designed to simplify volunteer management, engage volunteers and partners, and track your impact. Just to highlight a few of our incredible free features, you can:
- 📱 Harness the power of a user-friendly mobile app for volunteers
- 🤝 Share in event coordination responsibility with our unique co-hosting feature
- 📊 Access real-time data and analytics to measure the impact of volunteer partnerships, facilitating transparent reporting to stakeholders
Volunteer partnerships stand as a cornerstone for nonprofit success, providing a myriad of benefits and opportunities for collaboration. To streamline and maximize the potential of these partnerships, consider integrating POINT into your volunteer management toolkit.
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