6 Great Online Tools to Better Manage Your Nonprofit Volunteers

Without a group of dedicated volunteers that your nonprofit can depend on, your organization would struggle to stay afloat in an endless sea of to-do’s and priority projects. Nonprofit volunteers keep their organizations vibrant and thriving in part by sharing the workload with you and your staff.

Using nonprofit management tools and resources to facilitate the partnership between your organization and its volunteers will simplify operations, no matter how time-strapped your team is. So we compiled a list of our favorite nonprofit management tools to ensure that your nonprofit and its volunteers are lifelong friends.

Cool Tool #1: “Remember Everything” with Evernote

Nonprofit content management is a beast of a task. To keep up, we like Evernote for information storage and sharing with volunteers. Collaborate better with volunteers by adding event info, instructions and volunteer policies. The more information you feed Evernote, the better it will sustain your nonprofit-volunteer partnership.

Cool Tool #2: Collaborate with Dropbox

You’ll find a similar file sharing tool in Dropbox, which offers free 2GB accounts (spring for $10/month 50GB account if your nonprofit’s large). Dropbox syncs changing drafts of your content with your colleagues and nonprofit volunteers. If your volunteers create content, Dropbox will keep your nonprofit team in touch.

Cool Tool #3: Get Real (Time) with Google Docs

By now you’ve noticed that our favorite nonprofit management tools streamline communication with volunteers. And Google Apps are no exception. Give volunteers access to your staff’s Calendar or Docs features to collaborate in real time.

Cool Tool #4: Meet Up with Doodle

There’s more to collaboration than file sharing. And sometimes editing your volunteer’s newsletter draft won’t get the message across. When it’s time for a meeting, look to Doodle. Use it with Excange, Google Calendar, iCal and Outlook to set up meetings with volunteers. It’s an efficient way to share your availability and finally find time with your busiest volunteer.

Cool Tool #5: Nix Monkey Business with Survey Monkey

Like meetings and collaborating on content, surveying volunteers will let fresh ideas flow and help your nonprofit gauge the mood around your organization. Poll volunteers with Survey Monkey, online survey software that lets your nonprofit collect praise and criticism anonymously.

Cool Tool #6: Hootsuite is Sweet

Social media takes an incredible amount of time and effort—so much so that your nonprofit may be leaning on the help of volunteers to keep your Twitter quotient up. Your nonprofit and its tweeting volunteers will love using Hoosuite (we do) to share social media duties. With Hootsuite, your nonprofit volunteers can work together to manage multiple profiles, schedule tweets and monitor mentions.

There’s no magic formula to seamless cooperation with your nonprofit volunteers. Instead, experiment with the sharing services above to find a combination that works for your collaboration.

We want your input—what other management tools does your nonprofit use to communicate with volunteers?


Jill Havlat

March 19, 2012

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