Volunteers are Not a Source for Free Labor
Although you may not be paying your volunteers an annual salary, there are various operational costs that you do need to consider and account for when running a volunteer program. By doing this, you can better evaluate the performance of your volunteer management system and procedures.
What Is the Cost for Volunteer Management?
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 62.8 million people volunteered for an organization for an average of 50 hours each between September 2013 and September 2014.
Before those 62.8 million people could volunteer, they had to go through some sort of application and screening process. For most educational facilities, this involves an application either online or on paper—and typically calls for a sex offender check, and a criminal background check as well.
The two main areas that cost institutions money is the time it takes away from their staff and fees associated with background checks for applicants. Staff will have to take time out of their day to process the application, run a sex offender check, run a criminal background check, and then coordinate with the volunteer for any trainings or to schedule them for an event or activity.
By doing some quick math we can calculate approximately what the initial cost is for processing and screening a volunteer.
Assume that the hourly rate for a staff member is $20/hour and the process from start to finish takes one hour. Add the average cost of running a criminal background check of $25 and your total cost, minus additional training, uniforms, and manuals is $45.
Assuming that this cost was applied to every volunteer in the US between September 2013 and September 2014, the US spent a total of $2.8 billion dollars in processing and screening volunteers.
So the question is . . . how much are your volunteers costing your organization?
Is It Worth It?
Many organizations simply cannot operate without the help of dedicated volunteers. Because of this, organizations are on a constant search for methods and software to improve and streamline their volunteer management system. One common and care free method is dedicated software that is specialized at handing the application, screening, and managing process for volunteers.
Investing in a volunteer management software system may seem disadvantageous for saving money, but the amount of time saved and the special pricing for criminal background checks are well worth the investment.
The best software solutions may have other functionalities like a visitor and student management which will allow multiple departments to benefit from one integrated solution.
The Good News!
KeepnTrack is a web-hosted volunteer management software that will not only save time and money managing all of your volunteers but will also provide solutions for visitor management and student management problems. To see how KeepnTrack can provide you with a customized solution for your needs, please contact us here.