VolunteerMatters for YMCA

All the training and support you need to take full advantage of your YMCA volunteer management system.

Serving the unique needs of YMCAs

Recommended Script/Process for Volunteer Prospect

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There are various ways in which a volunteer may be introduced to your organization.  In some cases they may have found out about you via a social media post (either by your organization or one of your existing volunteers), a web-search, through their employer (corporate partnership), or through their membership with the Y.

While VolunteerMatters provides several ways in which the volunteer can browse and sign up for needs, there will alway be those volunteers who walk up to the front desk and ask how they can help.  The below outline was developed to help you understand how your new volunteer system may fit into this traditional volunteer interaction.

Introductions
Start a dialogue by introducing yourself to the potential volunteer.  Explain your role at the Y, how long you've been there, and any other interesting facts about yourself you may feel helps to make a connection.  Ask the volunteer about themselves.  What brought them to be interested in volunteering?  Ae they a member?  Do they have a history with the YMCA?  Do they have a family?  Do they work?  Do they have any passions or hobbies?  How would they see an ideal way in which they can make an impact through the YMCA.

Describe the YMCAs Commitment to Volunteerism
Provide some context to the size and scope of the services the YMCA provides to your local community.  Explain that the support of volunteers is critical to the success of the YMCA and has been since its founding.  "Without volunteers like yourself, we could never make the impact on (children/veterans/seniors/homeless/environment) that we do.  Last year alone, our volunteers donated over 70,000 hours support the needs of our community.  There is nothing more valuable than a person's time.  At the Y, we are deeply committed to making sure that your time as well as your skills and passion is well invested." 

Share Specifics on How they can Make an Impact
Show the prospective volunteer your catalog of volunteer opportunities (https://customercode.volunteermatters.org/project-catalog - do not log in as yourself).  You can narrow the search by asking them the branches they are interested in volunteering with and the impact areas they are most interested in.   "We have a website portal dedicated to the work our volunteers perform.  We publish a list of all of the projects, programs, and special events that you can volunteer for.  Let's take a look now and see if we can find the perfect fit for you.  First let's narrow down where you would like to volunteer (multi-branch Y's only).  We have several branches through which you can volunteer.  Which would work for you? (Choose branches).  Now, lets narrow it a little further to the different impact areas that interest you (You select one or more areas).  This is great news, we have 'x' projects that might be the perfect fit.  Let's take a moment and browse through these projects and see if there is something you would like to sign up for.  Don't worry if we don't find something today, I can always do a little more research and possibly even tailor something just for you." 

Walk Them Through The Volunteer Application
1) If the volunteer found something in the project catalog that would be a good fit, have them click on "Volunteer" next to this need then click "Register Now".  This will walk the volunteer through the basic application, logging into the portal for the first time, signing all of the required waivers AND anything else that may be required for this specific volunteer need (e.g., background check).  The system will automatically send out confirmation, reminder and thank you emails.  Go to "Follow Up" Option 1 below

2)  If the volunteer did not find something that interested them, repeat back to them what you heard about their desired type of volunteer activity and try to get them to fill out the volunteer application.  "I understand that you are looking for a volunteer experience that would take advantage of [these skills], [these interests] and [this schedule].  Let me do a little more research to find the perfect fit for you.  In the meantime, do you have 5-10 minutes to complete a volunteer application?"   This will get them in the system, create a username and password in the volunteer portal, and have them sign all of the required waivers and policy statements.  Go to "Follow up" Option 2 below

Follow Up
While the system automatically remains in touch with volunteers via confirmation, reminder, and thank you emails - it is especially important to reach out to new volunteers to assure a successful experience with the YMCA.

1) Volunteers that were successfully assigned to a need
Regularly review recent applicants.  The contact database allow you to perform a search for all contacts registered within the last 30 days.  For each individual, make sure they do not have additional questions and if happens to be after their assignment has ended, encourage them to sign up for something new.

2) Volunteers without a specific need assignment
The staff person utilizes the information they learned about the volunteer (skills, interests, and availability) to research one or more projects that would be a likely fit for the volunteer. Perhaps you may have even created a position just for this volunteer.  You may a) send an email invitation directly from the project  - or - b) manually assign the volunteer to the need and send them an email letting them know. 

a) Sending an Invite Through VolunteerMatters (Recommended)
Visit "Projects" from the main menu in VolunteerMatters, click on the project you want to manage, then click the manage dropdown and select "Invite".  This will generate a template email with the project's title, description and links to volunteer.  You may insert a special message at the start of the invitation email that reads something like the following:  "It was a pleasure getting to know you.  After doing a little research I think I have found a volunteer opportunity that fits the skills, interests, and availability you communicated to me at our last visit.  If you take a look at the below project, you can click to learn more.  It will take you to our volunteer portal where you can log-in using the username and password you created when you were at our facility.  If it seems like a fit for you then all you have to do is click "sign-up". 

If there are additional credentials required:  The system will prompt you to [authorize a background check/upload a copy of your drivers license/etc.] in order to perform this job.  It should only take 5 minutes to complete but it's a necessary step considering the importance of your work with [children/families/students/veterans].  We really appreciate your desire to donate your time to the YMCA.  We know how precious a gift that is.  If you have any questions about volunteering at the Y, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I will reach out again soon to see if there is anything else we can do to make your volunteer experience a success." 

Why this is recommended:  When a volunteer self-signs up, the system automatically analyzes if there are any additional credentials the volunteer must obtain and prompts them to apply at that time if anything is missing.  If you choose to manually assign and the volunteer is missing something they will have to return to the portal anyway.  Additionally, the system will automatically send a confirmation email for the assignment.

b) Manually Assign the Volunteer to a Need
This is typically an option when you and the volunteer mutually agreed upon specific volunteer need but something prevented you from signing the volunteer up the day they 'walked-in'.  A perfect example might be a volunteer position you created for this individual that didn't exist before they walked in the door.  Visit "Projects" from the main menu in VolunteerMatters, click on the project you want to manage, then click the manage dropdown and select "Assign".  After adding the contact, since the volunteer did not self-sign-up you will be required to manually send a confirmation email.  If additional credentials should be required you will have to direct the volunteer to return to the volunteer portal to complete the application.   

"It was a pleasure getting to know you.  Based on our conversation I have assigned you to [project and need assignment].  It fits the skills, interests, and availability you communicated to me at our last visit."

If there are no other credentials to apply for:   "You may visit the Volunteer Portal to view 'My Assignments' to see all of the detail on this assignment.  We really appreciate your desire to donate your time to the YMCA.  We know how precious a gift that is.  If you have any questions about volunteering at the Y, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I will reach out again soon to see if there is anything else we can do to make your volunteer experience a success." 

If there are additional credentials required:  "There is one final step to solidify your assignment.  This volunteer work requires  [authorize a background check/upload a copy of your drivers license/etc.].  All you have to do is log in to the Volunteer Portal and it will immediately prompt you for this information.  It should only take 5 minutes to complete but it's a necessary step considering the importance of your work with [children/families/students/veterans]. We really appreciate your desire to donate your time to the YMCA.  We know how precious a gift that is.  If you have any questions about volunteering at the Y, please don't hesitate to contact me.  I will reach out again soon to see if there is anything else we can do to make your volunteer experience a success."

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