Months and months in the making, we have been hard at work towards a project whose sole focus is to improve the interaction and sense of community between not-for-profits and their volunteers. Communiteer seeks to use technology and social media to advance volunteer management in the current state of the virtual/skill-based sector. We are an expert in volunteering and community building, with theory & research backing everything we do post-covid/ digital transformation.
Initially, we tried to do this through our previous platform, but this wasn’t the ideal journey we had envisioned. But now, Communiteer is getting a redux of its platform, a brand new interface and many solutions addressing the key issues. The new platform not only seeks to fix what wasn’t working but builds upon what was great to bring what is essentially a new way to facilitate meaningful interactions.
Why a new platform? (problems)
Communiteer’s experience in the sector found a foundational problem seen across the entirety of volunteering as a whole. The old volunteer management platform was about making it convenient for volunteers to find opportunities. However, we made the assumption that NFPs knew what they needed to achieve. Instead, we need to lean on the experience and skills of volunteers to bring volunteering to the very start: scoping and breaking down the NFP needs.
It’s beliefs, passion and common causes that drive people to achieve amazing things. The new platform better enables NFPs and volunteers to connect without each and gives a real sense of connection. This new volunteer management platform makes you feel like part of a community rather than just another volunteer.
The new volunteer management platform brings the cause front and centre to engage volunteers to offer their skills and support. Communiteer discovered that volunteers better connect with the NFP or organisation that they are working with rather than the job. Our community first approach will appeal to volunteers’ hearts with a cause they support, rather than connecting with an opportunity. The NFP wants skills and the skilled volunteer wants a cause. The new platform helps bridge the gap and facilitates connection.
Solutions for the platform
Building your Community
Volunteers can explore organisations and join communities for the causes they believe in. That they can read about your vision and mission, and see how they can contribute to something bigger. As a result, you will retain volunteers and build loyalty through shared understanding.
Your community page allows for easy edits, posts, updates and opportunity postings for everyone in your community to see. But the most useful features added would have to be the ability to search through and filter community members by skills and talents as needed. With the new volunteer management platform layout, community pages are more easily accessible and better to navigate. In this way, an NFP can tell its full story.
Creating a Project
We encountered the same issue time and time again within skilled volunteering and volunteer management. Where an unclear, complex or too broad scope stopped impact in its tracks. Volunteers can scope opportunities further on our volunteer management platform, breaking them down into smaller commitments and define expectations. Co-designing collective impact is essential to make sure NFPs know what they need, the skilled volunteer knows how to do it, and impact is achieved.
Ease of Communication
Communication and scoping plays a more significant role on the volunteer management platform. With the new layout and improved messaging options, both NFPs and volunteers feel that even online there are others around ready to create impact. This was achieved with new chat functions to enhance the communication experience. When a job, opportunity or project is posted, volunteers now have the ability to directly scope with community managers.
From here the chat functions come into play and you begin your scoping discussions with volunteers. This invite process promotes proactive behaviour on both sides of the fence. It begins the foundation of a real relationship and not just an anonymous online presence.
We’ve given volunteers the tools they need to reach out to you on our new volunteer management platform! They can offer their skills and schedule a meeting to scope their contribution. As a result, volunteers can lead with their skills and experience to find the perfect opportunity. Leading to much more achievable outcomes and increased completion rates.
From the volunteers who join your community, you can view those who have put their hand up for volunteering. After that, browse through the skills available and respond to their offer with a time to catch up. If you’re still growing your supporters, you can also find the exact skills you need by exploring our volunteer database.
Recognition plays a massive role in whether or not volunteers choose to stick around with any organisation. The actions of volunteers who work and dedicate time will be shown in the form of badges and achievements. Proudly displaying past projects, the number of hours worked and other such accomplishments.
Similar to how video games have achievements when a player does something significant. NFPs will be able to visit a volunteer’s page and see not only the skills they possess. How they have interacted with NFPs, their responsiveness, level of expertise and other past positive feedback.
What this means
Communiteer has given its all to bring the new platform to life. We are beyond words at the excitement we have for its unveiling. For us, this means a new beginning here at Communiteer. But for NFPs and volunteers, it marks a huge step forward for large-scale volunteer management platform.
What our new volunteer management platform represents is not change but connection. To sum up, the connections that will be made, the recovery of the volunteering pool post-COVID and accelerating impact for a more equitable, humane and prosperous society.