Volunteers are the cornerstone of society. The experience brings us together as a community, but it also means I get to contribute to a cause that I care about. It feels good, but there are other reasons too…
- We’re needed and wanted. It’s a great way to support the causes that mean the most to us all.
- It’s a learning experience, because I get frontline access to the important causes I care about.
- I’ve also built up my work experience by volunteering in tough times.
It’s easy to see why volunteering is so important both as a community and for me personally. I can offer support in schools, and I can protect animals and our planet through rescue and beautification efforts.
Why is Volunteering So Difficult?
The unfortunate, rarely discussed, reality of volunteering is that it’s not always easy to volunteer. Worse yet, it can be time-consuming and frustrating to coordinate volunteering efforts. Much of the difficulty on both sides of volunteering is related to lack of clear and consistent communication.
- Sign-up Sheets: We’ve all used sign-up sheets for the initial signups. It’s an easy way to gauge interest, and get the contact information you need for continued communication. The drawback is that it’s an old-school method, and it requires that you have a volunteer present at events or other activities to gather sign-ups.
- Phone: We always ask for a phone number on sign-up sheets, or exchange numbers when a volunteer expresses interest, but there’s not an easy, mass-communication way to contact all volunteers at once. To set up volunteers to work, I might call 20-50 people. While some volunteers still prefer contact via phone, many more contacts don’t want to be contacted at all via phone.
- Text: It’s really an extension of the phone problem. It can be a tedious experience to contact potential volunteers via text. Some organizations do use mass-text messaging services, but that can incur a cost. In most cash-strapped nonprofit or cause-focused organizations, the cost for mass texting is just not something that can be justified as a mission-critical cost.
- Email: It’s probably safe to say that email communication is the easiest and most cost-effective way to organize and communicate with volunteers. Depending on the number of volunteers, and the nonprofit status, it’s easy to find free (or seriously reduced-cost) options to handle email campaigns.
None of the most commonly used forms of communication are reliable or very consistent. You can send out hundreds of emails and not receive a single response. Then, add calling and texts, which are a mixed bag. There again, you may just not receive any response. Sign-up sheets would seem like the easiest way to get a response to your plea for volunteers, but sign-up sheets are typically filled out well in advance of the event or activity you’ll need volunteers for. By the time you need them, you’re really dealing with the game of phone-text-email tag, and hoping for the best results.
If you’re dedicated to the cause, you may just decide that it’s easier to just rely on your own work and the work of a few key volunteers, and not hassle with trying to bring in more volunteers to help. Of course, that means that you’re putting all your time and energy into doing the work, without assistance of volunteers who really would love to help. It also might mean burnout. (Ok, it always means burnout.) Either you get tired of doing it all. Conflicting responsibilities can make it impossible or you and/or your most reliable volunteers to continue.
Why is it So Hard to Wrangle & Coordinate Volunteers?
It makes sense why it’s not easy to get a consistent response. There are so many reasons, and here are just a few possibilities.
- The person who handled volunteering coordination in the past may have never sent out emails, called or texted.
- Or that person may have sent out pleas for volunteers the night before, with no time to plan anything.
- Worse still, previous coordinators may have gathered sign-up forms, but never entered them into a spreadsheet or digital format.
To top it all off, everybody has busy, frenetic lives. Most of us want to help, but life gets busy with kids, work, and life. While we have the best of intensions, the experience has to be easy, fast, and accommodating. How is it even possible to accommodate everyone on the fly without any tools or resources? It’s a bit daunting even on the best of days, but that’s also why Go2s makes so much sense.
What if You Could Connect with your Go2s?
The problem of organizing volunteers affects all of us, and that’s why Go2s developed a private social network that makes connection and coordination fast and easy. The primary goal is to offer a safe and reliable framework where you can easily share maps and photos, manage events or details, as well as connect via audio or video. Go2s also features a quick Polls feature, so you can gather feedback, as well as an easy-use-and integrate Sign-up sheet. It takes all the guesswork and frustration out of volunteer coordination, but what’s even more awesome is that it’s easy to volunteer too.
Volunteering does make us stronger. We support each other, but we also need to cut each other a little slack. We all need reminders. We need options, and we need to know how our efforts are really making a difference. With up-to-date alerts and announcements, it’s easy to tap into a network of family, friends, and fellow impassioned individuals. It’s amazing… It’s meaningful… and it’s what I need the most!
Take a look at the Power of Your Go2s network.