Younger volunteers expect more than traditional tasks. If your own youthful volunteer experience brings up memories of setting up tables and filing papers, realize that today’s tech-savvy volunteers under the age of 36 expect a totally different experience. They look for ways to contribute directly to the event and feel engaged with the staff and their fellow volunteers.
Today’s volunteers are looking for work experience. It’s not news-breaking information that the entry-level position has pretty much disappeared. That’s why younger people look for volunteer experience they can put on their resume. Assigning college students the task of gathering and tracking attendance information electronically during an event, or having them perform on-site, technology-assisted customer service are great ways to attract today’s educated and work-focused volunteers.
Volunteers expect a strong chain of communication. With the availability of multiple communication channels, volunteers today don’t see any room for a lapse in communication. Mobile technology should be within arm’s reach. Consider using an event staff management app, so that you can be sure all volunteers with questions will receive quick responses.
Risk management is a must. Volunteers expect snags and risks to be eliminated just by reaching out. Review your event safety policies and contingency plans thoroughly during training. Provide multiple ways for volunteers to get assistance through technology when things are not running smoothly. Have a chain of command established, but be sure to have a list of procedures stored in your volunteers’ mobile devices for quick reference.