Budget constraints may force you to consider bringing on volunteers and/or interns to help build capacity. Volunteers are also more likely to be able to give your organization more of their time due to the current economic situation. While managing volunteers can seem daunting when resources are already stretched, it is worth taking time out to plan an engagement strategy.
- Generate a list of projects you need help with that can be handed over to volunteers.
- Identify the skill set of your volunteer pool, their availability and who is best suited to work on each project.
- Identify who in your team should manage the project and the volunteer(s).
- Set out clear instructions, expectations, deliverables and timeline so everyone is aligned before the project commences.
- Schedule periodic check-ins (this will depend on the project).
And remember, investing in your volunteers is strategic because they give you access to their networks and, more importantly, they have the potential to become your ambassadors, major donors, staff or board members.