Three Signs that You Need a Fractional Volunteer Coordinator
You may never have even heard of a fractional volunteer coordinator, so how would you know if you need one? Here are three signs that this option is right for your organization.
You’re facing budgetary constraints or uncertainty
Tight budgets and financial uncertainty are a relatively normal part of business for not-for-profits.
This is especially true for new, growing and specialty organizations.
Financial resources to hire a full-time volunteer coordinator are often unavailable.
This means having the executive director or some other staff member manage the volunteers as and when they can. Besides taking time away from their own duties, this can cause inconsistencies in the program which might impact your mission and/or clients.
Your volunteer program needs high-level guidance
A strategic benefit comes from having an experienced person in this position.
Oftentimes, especially in small and growing organizations, volunteer programs lack a cohesive plan. This is common when the program is steered by multiple people or by someone who is either not trained or not solely dedicated to the volunteers.
This is not a knock on the person running your program now, just a reason to bring on someone with education and experience in this particular field.
If you believe your volunteers are important to achieving your mission, you owe it to your organization to hire someone who specializes in managing them well.
You’ve been wanting more organizational and financial flexibility
Running a not-for-profit takes an incredible amount of agility. You need to pivot and change continually in order to deal with altered funding or unforeseen opportunities or challenges.
Locking your organization into a yearly salary commitment for a volunteer coordinator can be hard for many not-for-profits.
Hiring an on-demand fractional volunteer coordinator allows you to use your resources where and when you need them most.
Do you have a seasonal component to your charity (such as the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign) or a big event coming up that requires an influx of temporary volunteers? You can give more or fewer hours to a fractional volunteer coordinator to match your needs.
It is a very flexible situation. During times you don’t need a volunteer coordinator, you can divert those resources into other areas.
You need more decision-making freedom.
If hiring a full-time volunteer coordinator is challenging, so is firing one. If the relationship doesn’t work out, separating from them can be an uncomfortable and acrimonious process.
On the other hand, if a fractional volunteer coordinator isn’t working out, it is much easier to just terminate the contract and move on to someone else.
The same is true as your organization grows and your needs shift.
You may decide you need a full-time coordinator. With a fractional volunteer coordinator, that process is easy and painless.
In fact, the fractional volunteer coordinator will usually be happy to help train and settle your new hire into the position.
Is this for you?
Every not-for-profit is different. A fractional volunteer coordinator may or may not suit your needs.
If you would like more information on how it works, or whether it would be right for you, book a call with me and we can discuss your particular situation and how I might help you.