We had an opportunity to speak with Donna Martin, Volunteer Services Manager for Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, to learn more about her organization’s mission and how they are gaining immense value from VolunteerHub.
What does a Volunteer Service Manager do?
Donna: At Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, the Volunteer Service Manager oversees, manages, and directs all volunteers across the organization. We currently have 31 locations, utilizing around 1000 volunteers. My job is to make sure we have the volunteer manpower that we need. It keeps me very busy.
Can you explain the merger that led to Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley?
Donna: In 2020, we had a significant merger between two Boys & Girls Club organizations in Maricopa County. We had the Boys & Girls Club of the East Valley and Boys & Girls Club of Metro Phoenix merge, causing us to double in size overnight. We doubled the number of kids we can serve, doubled our locations, and saw a significant staff increase. It has been an exciting adventure. The cool thing about the merger is we already had the same mission, vision, and values.
What is your mission?
Donna: We empower young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible members of the community.
What is your vision?
Donna: To be the premier out-of-school-time provider and leading voice for youth development in Arizona, ensuring youth and teens have the skills and resilience to successfully navigate childhood and prepare for adulthood.
What has been your impact?
Donna: In fiscal year 2021/2022, we served almost 22,000 youth and teens. It's also important to mention that 56% of the families we serve are single heads of households, meaning single moms and single dads. That is a huge number. We also know that out of all the parents we support, 93% rely on our services to go to work or school to better their financial situation. This is significant because 46% of our members are below the poverty level. It is amazing working for an organization that is doing such great work to support the community.
How many volunteers do you leverage per year?
Donna: Last year we recruited a little over 1000 volunteers and this year I anticipate having 1300 or so volunteers. I am very proud of those numbers, as we have a very small volunteer services team.
What types of roles do volunteers fill?
Donna: I like to tell people we have three types of volunteer opportunities. You can help out in a club as a club volunteer, where you're engaging with kids one-on-one and working in small groups. You can volunteer to help support our special events. And finally, you can volunteer at our administrative center. We couldn’t do what we do without our amazing volunteers.
What was your process like for managing volunteers before VolunteerHub?
Donna: Oh my gosh… very archaic. We relied a lot on spreadsheets, handwritten lists, index cards, business cards, and filing cabinets. I often felt like I was drowning in paper. It was extremely difficult to gather monthly data because we were working off of handwritten reports. The process was very labor-intensive, and it was challenging to produce anything quickly. Before VolunteerHub, it took three to four weeks to put our year-end report together.
What has your experience been like with VolunteerHub?
Donna: What I love most about VolunteerHub is that it is incredibly user-friendly on both the volunteer and admin side. It is very easy to learn. What I appreciate the most is, how it has simplified data gathering and data reporting. We can pull together data and run reports when we need them. VolunteerHub has freed up my time and has made it easier for our staff to submit the information that we need. The software also makes event management incredibly streamlined. I like that volunteers can use their smartphones, scan a QR code, and automatically be checked in. That just makes everything so much easier. They don’t need to stop and fill out paperwork or stop and sign in, they just scan the QR code, and they are ready to go. Out of all the features in VolunteerHub, that is the one I truly love the most.
What are your thoughts on the return on investment from volunteer management?
Donna: I love this question. I teach part-time at Arizona State on a graduate level, and calculating the ROI of volunteer management is part of my curriculum. It's important to know that where we are investing our time matters. VolunteerHub makes it so easy to calculate.
If I want to volunteer with the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley, what should I do?
VolunteerHub makes it super easy. If you are in Arizona and you want to volunteer, go to our website, click “ways to support”, click “volunteer”, and check out our opportunities on our VolunteerHub landing page. It’s as simple as that.
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley is a great example of how the right volunteer software can make all the difference in accomplishing a mission. VolunteerHub provides the features your organization needs to transform and automate your volunteer program.