Cheers to Suzanne Grist, Montana Public Radio Membership/Volunteer Coordinator
As a tool for public service, Montana Public Radio is a media network licensed to the Montana University System and serves western and central Montana. As an affiliate with NPR, MTPR’s provides favorite programs, such as “The American Life” and “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me!” Volunteer coordinator Suzanne Grist oversees MTPR memberships and shares her experience using VolunteerSpot.
Montana Public Radio is an NPR-affiliate station based out of Missoula, MT and broadcasts across all of Western Montana. We are primarily listener-supported and reach out to our supporters for donations through mailings and two on air pledge drives a year. It is generally during our on-air drives that we need volunteer help. We recruit approximately 200 plus volunteers to help answer incoming pledge calls, file pledge forms in our front office and deliver a donated meal to the station.
Explain how you use VolunteerSpot to coordinate these volunteers.
In the past, before we started using VolunteerSpot, we spent on the phone, calling volunteers to schedule a date and time to come in during our on-air pledge drives. Now that we are using VolunteerSpot, we are able organize our tasks on the calendar with specific shifts, send the link and simply allow volunteers to sign up at their convenience.
Why did you decide to use VolunteerSpot?
We decided to use VolunteerSpot in order to save the time that it takes to call each and every volunteer to schedule a time. Having the calendar always accessible for volunteers to sign up, cancel or change a shift also makes the process much easier and more convenient for our volunteers.
What’s one piece of advice you have for volunteers or their leaders out there?
As a volunteer coordinator, it is important for me that our volunteers feel valued and appreciated. It isn’t easy to find the “extra” time to donate to an organization that relies so much on the help from community members. My advice to volunteer leaders is to show your appreciation when you can. Although technology offers efficiency and convenience, I think it’s important to remember that there are still those out there that prefer to stay connected the old fashioned way, such as a phone call. It’s important to stay mindful and keep those communication lines open as well.
My advice to volunteers – offer your feedback when you feel it’s necessary. Most organizations are always looking for ways to improve, be more efficient or just communicate effectively. You are a valued resource for the organizations you seek to help.
Anything else you’d like our readers to know about your organization or volunteering?
Our volunteers have a great time when they are at the station. Some of our long time volunteers look forward to reconnecting with people they haven’t seen all year. It’s generally a time we celebrate Montana Public Radio and are able to spend time with some of our listeners. It’s a great time for us!
We salute Suzanne and all the other volunteer coordinators out there working hard to better the community. Check out how VolunteerSpot’s Volunteer Software can help you!