Volunteer Management with Salesforce: 4 Tips for Success

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Volunteers make up a considerable portion of the manpower behind nonprofit organizations around the world. Volunteers commit their time and effort to the causes they believe in, and they bring a tremendous amount of value to nonprofits and the communities they serve. So how can you ensure that your volunteers are taken care of? Well, it all starts with good data management, and that’s where Salesforce comes in.

Most nonprofits invest in a CRM like Salesforce as a way to track and manage their membership and donors, but what about their volunteers? With the right tools and data sharing, you can keep track of your volunteer data in your Salesforce CRM too.

This blog will explore how volunteer managers can harness their Salesforce CRM to better manage their volunteers and measure their programs’ impact on their organizations’ annual goals. Here is a quick overview of what we will cover:

  • Optimize your recruitment process.
  • Keep track of your volunteers’ skills and qualifications.
  • Boost retention by recognizing top volunteers.
  • Improve your volunteer program by leveraging analytics.

A refresher on volunteer management is a smart move for any organization that’s looking to create a more impactful program. If you’ve recently adopted Salesforce, familiarizing your team with the above best practices is a great way to strengthen your approach. Let’s get started.

1. Optimize your recruitment process

Recruiting new volunteers to help you execute your programs is a routine task for volunteer managers who work for a nonprofit organization but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple task. Nonprofits are often looking for volunteers with particular skills, experience, and dedication to the cause, making the recruitment process somewhat daunting at first.

A volunteer manager has two options at this point:

  1. Try and recruit volunteers from their existing pool of members and donors.
  2. Start recruiting volunteers from their website and other online channels.

The first option is when Salesforce’s solution for nonprofits comes in. A volunteer manager can create a marketing campaign to try and convert members and donors into volunteers. This is a great option because these individuals are already dedicated to your organization’s mission and actively participating in other ways.

By leveraging the data they already have, volunteer managers can create personalized campaigns to engage with the audience in a meaningful way, while inspiring them to take greater action by donating their time.

The second option requires a little more work and additional tools to get the job done. Volunteers for Salesforce offers a very basic volunteer management toolkit that allows you to collect volunteer data through a website sign up. However, for most nonprofits organizations, this tool isn’t robust enough to handle a more complex volunteer onboarding and screening process.

That’s when you may want to start looking for other volunteer management solutions that integrate with your Salesforce CRM. This will enable you to meet all your volunteer recruitment and screening needs, while ensuring that important volunteer data is tracked within Salesforce.

Look for solutions that offer flexible onboarding workflows and custom form questions that use logic to make the signup process easier for your volunteers, but also allow you to collect all the information you need to properly screen and assign them.

Most volunteer managers will take a hybrid approach to their recruitment process and utilize both options to increase their success rates. It is also important to keep in mind that new volunteers can be converted into donors later, so a new volunteer is a great asset to your nonprofit in the long term.

2. Keep track of your volunteers’ skills and qualifications

Keeping track of important volunteer data like skills, qualifications, certifications, and training information is essential to make sure you are leveraging your volunteers to make the biggest positive impact possible. After all, there is nothing more frustrating to a volunteer than being tasked with something they aren’t interested in or qualified to do.

So, where does Salesforce come in? Whether you are using volunteers for Salesforce or another volunteer management solution that is integrated with Salesforce, you want to keep track of this data and use it to place volunteers in the right roles properly.

Some volunteer management solutions offer smart matching features that recommend which volunteers should be assigned to specific roles based on their profile data and hours of availability. This can be a big time-saver for volunteer managers and significantly reduce administrative time.

No matter how you want to collect, track, and harness volunteer data, it is important not to overlook the importance of this step in the volunteer management process. Taking the time to match your volunteers with roles they are interested in properly will increase your volunteer retention and engagement in the long run.

3. Boost retention by recognizing top volunteers

Volunteers, donors, and members want to see the impact their efforts have on the organization’s goals. Impact matters and sharing this with volunteers helps to retain them while inspiring them to do even more (like becoming a donor).

How do you effectively convey a volunteer’s impact with them? It starts with tracking the hours they’ve worked for your organization. From here, you can send a personalized email to each of your most influential volunteers thanking them for their time through your Salesforce CRM. Consider including some data points like how many hours they worked and how that work has helped your nonprofit make a difference.

Go above and beyond to recognize your top volunteers by including them in your newsletter to your entire organization. Volunteer retention is all about recognition and transparency on how a volunteer’s work makes a difference.

4. Improve your volunteer program by leveraging analytics

Data is an important part of any long term volunteer management and engagement strategy. Tracking key data points over a period of time will allow you to properly evaluate your progress and help you stay on track to meet your goals.

Some key volunteer analytics include:

  • Total number of volunteers
  • Total number of volunteer hours
  • Volunteer retention rates
  • Volunteer satisfaction or net promoter score

These data points should be tracked in Salesforce and routinely evaluated. Setting program goals and adjusting your volunteer management strategies based on your volunteer analytics will ensure you are leveraging all the data you have collected in a way that promotes organizational growth.


Getting the most out of your Salesforce CRM simply starts with exploring what unique needs your nonprofit has and how you can address those necessities through additional tools that integrate with Salesforce. The Salesforce ecosystem of technology partners will ensure that your nonprofit finds the solution you need to best manage your volunteers.

Do you want more Salesforce-related resources for nonprofits? Check out Nonprofit Dreamin on 28th and 29th January. This event is organised by the nonprofit community, for the nonprofit community and tickets have now been released!

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