By Kimberly Swartz, Senior Director of Community Engagement, Taproot Foundation
As a nonprofit professional, your to-do list may be longer than a CVS receipt, but we have some ways to shorten it.
Taproot Plus, our free nonprofit-volunteer marketplace, has a community of over 150,000 volunteers skilled in HR, operations, business strategy, finance, marketing, tech, and more, who are waiting in the wings to help you! However, the talents of our volunteer partners aren’t always tapped into equally, so their services go unused.
We’ve rounded up a list of our 5 most under-utilized volunteer projects on Taproot Plus so that your nonprofit can take advantage of business professionals ready to give back!
If you’re new to working with skilled volunteers, anything in the realm of research is a wonderful place to start! Research projects with skilled volunteers typically are wrapped up in under 6 weeks, making them an efficient way to get support from talented business professionals.
Here are a few research ideas to get you started:
- Weigh the pros and cons of different tech solutions for your organization’s CRM or IT needs
- Build a list of donor or sponsor prospects through dedicated online research
- Pull together market research that will fuel your next marketing plan
When you’re busy running impactful community programs each day, it can be tough to take a step back to steep yourself in data analysis. That said, investing in evaluation is a sign of a healthy, data-driven organization.
Here’s how Taproot Plus volunteers can flex their experience to benefit your organization’s use of data:
- Strategize with leadership to outline a comprehensive impact measurement strategy
- Train volunteer coordinators on survey and feedback-gathering best practices
- Knock out data analysis projects for website traffic, social media engagement, program engagement, and much more
3. Operations Management
One thing that binds all nonprofits together? The need for our systems, tools, and people to work together as efficiently as possible. That way we can serve community members as effectively as possible!
A Taproot Plus volunteer experienced in operations management can help you:
- Assess your current systems and make recommendations to increase organizational effectiveness
- Research tech tools to lean on for your operation’s needs
- Provide training to board or staff leadership on operations management best practices
4. Board Development
A strong and healthy board of directors leads to a strong and healthy nonprofit organization. Skilled volunteers with deep expertise from the Human Resources and organizational effectiveness spaces can be key resources for maximizing the impact and output from your talented board members.
Request support from Taproot Plus HR volunteers to strengthen the capacity of your nonprofit’s board of directors:
- Make full use of an expert (neutral) third-party to conduct a board effectiveness audit and provide recommendations for improvement
- Craft board role descriptions for current or future members
- Develop a board recruitment strategy that ensures your ability to bring diverse, talented board candidates who reflect the community that your organization serves
5. Retention Strategies
You work hard to recruit amazing board members, staff, and volunteers for your nonprofit. What supportive structures do you have in place to keep these special people in your organization once there?
Upgrade your retention efforts with the following volunteer projects:
- Craft a leadership development strategy that will help you keep folks on your team engaged and learning new skills
- Analyze your total compensation package against other similar organizations to see how you stack up
- Conduct an engagement survey to receive feedback directly from board, staff, and volunteers with an ear towards long-term retention