Volunteering is Hot - Retention is Not

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New web service provides free & easy solution for coordinating and retaining volunteers

As National Volunteer Week approaches, the growing interest in community service and the large number of unemployed who are giving back has caused a swell in the numbers of volunteers.

But as the need for volunteers is also on the rise, funds and staff to manage them are being cut, leaving groups struggling with how to absorb and deploy new volunteer "recruits" with meaningful work that will keep them coming back.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 61.8 million people (age 16 and older), or 26.4 percent of Americans, volunteered in 2008. But the Corporation for National and Community Service reported a third of all volunteers (22 million) also drop out, mainly due to poor coordination.

"Volunteer retention is a real problem. It's not that people don't want to help, it's that we schedule too many people, or not enough, and bombard our volunteers with phone calls or back-and-forth emails to help - in the end, well-intentioned people quit," says Karen Bantuveris, Management Consultant and founder of VolunteerSpot.com. "We launched VolunteerSpot to simplify one pain point in the volunteer experience, signing up and reminding volunteers - and made it so easy, ANYONE can coordinate volunteers well."

VolunteerSpot.com, a new free online service, is solving the problem of retaining and engaging volunteers by reducing volunteer coordination time by 85% and keeping everyone organized in REAL time -- and giving everyone a real job to do. Small nonprofits, parent-teacher groups and community groups who can't afford expensive software systems benefit the most.

Shelly-Marie Rios, volunteer coordinator at Heart House, an after-school mentoring program in Austin, TX is a believer. "VolunteerSpot is saving me so much time and making it easy for my volunteers to quickly find a shift that fits their schedule."

"We needed something simple, easy, inexpensive, and easily acquired by our volunteers. VolunteerSpot required no downloads, charged no fees, and provided a clear and easy interface for both coordinators and volunteers." Says Fr James, Thibodeaux of St. Peter's Episcopal Parish in Seattle, WA. VolunteerSpot promises to be so easy that new users are up and running within 5 minutes. Most activities can be completely set up in less than 20 minutes, saving hours of coordination time for busy volunteer leaders.

  • Organizers can recruit volunteers with email sign-ups or a website link
  • Volunteers can choose their shifts, or something to bring, with a one-step click - no registration
  • Automated reminders are sent to help everyone keep their commitments

The service also supports informal volunteering by improving parent participation at school, Scouts, and recreational sports like Little League & swim team. "Staffing the baseball concessions stand with parents is now a snap with VolunteerSpot," says Bruce Krein of Campbell, CA.

VolunteerSpot encourages community leaders looking for a tool to improve their volunteer experience to get started now at http://www.volunteerspot.com. Anyone interested in learning more about VolunteerSpot can take a video tour or try a live demo to see first-hand how much easier it is to volunteer.

ABOUT VOLUNTEERSPOT.COM
From neighborhood cleanups, to classroom volunteers, community kitchens, to Scouts, VolunteerSpot lets organizers and volunteers get scheduled in one central spot. Founded by Karen Bantuveris, a management consultant and PTA Vice President, VolunteerSpot is an easy-to-use free online tool that offers schools, non-profits and other community service groups a reliable solution to recruiting and organizing volunteers. For more information, contact Mary Firme at 512.329.6066 or visit http://VolunteerSpot.com.

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