When managing a volunteer workforce, there is no substitution for one-on-one interaction. People donate their time and abilities to nonprofits because they are enthusiastic about the cause and believe they can make a difference. The more time higher-ups can give to these individuals, the more they can encourage and support this enthusiasm.
As the volunteer group grows and spreads out, it becomes more difficult to stay connected with each and every one. Video conferencing is a way for a nonprofit to easily connect its volunteers and management, and it offers many other benefits.
Video chat works for a spread-out workforce
Nonprofits can have branches and events that stretch around the world. Even smaller organizations usually have to travel or contact supporters and donors outside their geographical location.
Video conferencing can not only cut down on travel expenses, but it can also show volunteers an organization is willing to adapt to their needs. The blog Nonprofit Conversation suggested video conferencing allows staff to be more productive. The blog found video conferences were easier to schedule than sit-down meetings and eliminated some need for travel.
It also means an organization can accept more help. There are volunteers who would like to contribute but are not conveniently located nearby the nonprofit. Video conferencing, as well as other online tools, can help facilitate conversations and engagement from distant individuals who have the skills and motivation to assist a nonprofit reach its goals.
While video conferencing does not possess all of the advantages of being in the same room with a volunteer, it can prove more effective than other solutions.
Both web and phone conferences do not promote the same kind of engagement as video conferencing. A survey conducted by Global Industry Analyst found most people engage in other activities if they are in a meeting where they cannot be seen. Survey participants reported they wrote personal emails, checked online dating sites, and took other calls while conferencing. The majority of participants said they preferred video conferencing options.
If a nonprofit wishes its initially enthusiastic volunteers to remain plugged in, it should utilize tools that promote engagement.
Efficient use of resources
The Telegraph claimed the best reason for any organization to start using video conferencing is cost efficiency. While video conferencing is the most advanced meeting option, modern technology has made it basically standard on many computing devices.
Most laptops and mobile devices have video tools built into them. It just requires a quality Internet connection and basic hardware. A nonprofit is aware of how important it is to get the most use out of donations, so a tech option that doesn’t call for expensive materials is going to be helpful. This is in addition to the money it can save on travel.
It can work in conjunction with other nonprofit software. A nonprofit can use volunteer management programs to factor in schedules and availability to create video conferencing events convenient for everyone.
Storytelling is an important tool when promoting a nonprofit’s message. The ability to display visual and audio material that connects to an audience will not only bring in fundraising but could also lead to future volunteers.
Socialbrite, an organization promoting social solutions for nonprofits, highlighted the dramatic impact new technology can have on organizations. The strategy provider listed examples of videos that are simple to make, clever and successful in generating interest and funds for a nonprofit.
The more an organization can bring modern tools like video solutions into its day-to-day practice, the more comfortable management and volunteers will be in using these tools for other purposes. The video technology available to most nonprofits shouldn’t be going to waste.
Face time with higher-ups
In large nonprofits with many different branches, smaller segments may feel they are not recognized by the organization as a whole. These types of national or global charities may not have the resources to fly the heads of the nonprofit to every location, but that doesn’t mean they can’t check in and say hello.
Video conferencing allows even the largest organizations to have their leaders and volunteers meet face-to-face. Beginning volunteers can be introduced right away to the person who started the organization and hear why it is so important the nonprofit succeeds. This is the kind of personal connection that video technologies can provide for a worthy cause.