Communicating with volunteers is an important aspect of any volunteer program. Email is an efficient means of reaching out to volunteers when used effectively.

VolunteerHub features two forms of communication, Transactional and Non-Transactions. This article details the differences between the two.

Know What's Automatic

There are 5 different automatic emails that a volunteer may receive. These are 'transactional' emails, meaning they are sent to volunteers regardless of how they respond to the email opt-in question because they are created as a response to the volunteer signing up for an event.

  1. Regular Confirmation: Organization name + "event registration complete"
  2. Waitlisted Confirmation: Organization name + "event registration waitlisted"
  3. Cancellation Confirmation: Organization name + "event registration cancelled"
  4. Reminder: Organization name + "Event Reminder" + starting date and time of the event
  5. Thank-You: Organization name + "Thank you!"

To learn more about each email, read our What do the automatic email look like? article.

Sending Your Own Emails

There are 4 ways an administrator can send an email through VolunteerHub:

  1. To one User
  2. To a User Group
  3. To those registered for an Event
  4. Through a Custom Filter

Regardless of the method used, volunteers will only receive these emails if they agreed to opt-in to emails.

Best Practices

1. Send Sparingly

No one likes being flooded with emails. The more often a volunteer sees an email from your organization, the less likely they may be to open it. Aside from communications related to an event a volunteer is signed up for, it is best to limit mass emails to no more than 1 per month.

2. Subject Line

The email the volunteer receives will already contain the name of your organization followed by a colon.

Catch their interest in just a few words. Attention grabbing subjects often contain:

  • A call to action
  • A special announcement
  • A targeted message (more on this below)

3. Keep it Concise

Long emails can be daunting, especially on a phone; try not to get bogged down in too many details, instead use the body of the email to provide the basic information.

You can use hyperlinks to direct the volunteer to find out more on their own.

You might link to:

  • A specific event
  • A custom landing page
  • A page on your website

4. Be Targeted

None of the above advice means much if a volunteer is receiving an email which doesn't apply to them. Unless the email is meant for all volunteers, try messaging specific user groups or a custom filtered set of volunteers.

Targeting an email to a user group allows for making that message more personalized to them, which may increase the likelihood of their opening it.

5. Other Forms of Communication

Text - Is your message time-sensitive? It may make sense to target your message as a text message to the specific group who needs the information, such as those registered for a particular event.

Social Media - A message on social media may reach a broader audience than an email to your existing base of volunteers. Remember that you can share links to events and landing pages within social media posts and perhaps attract new volunteers to your site.