Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), is the country’s oldest and largest state organic organization. It is a broad-based community that educates about and advocates for organic agriculture, illuminating its interdependence with a healthy environment, local food production, and thriving communities. One of its largest initiatives is the Common Ground Country Fair’s annual three-day event, which drew over 67,000 attendees in 2022. To power its events and initiatives, the organization relies heavily on volunteers, which is what initially led MOFGA to implement Virtuous’ volunteer management tool, VOMO.
Using Manual Processes to Manage 1,600 Volunteers
Prior to using Virtuous, MOFGA faced several challenges related to volunteer and donor management, including difficulty tracking volunteer engagement, improving the volunteer experience, and tracking and analyzing donor interactions.
As a volunteer-powered organization, they needed a tool that could manage volunteers for their annual fair, keep donors engaged and informed, and enable them to analyze donor interactions. “We really are powered by volunteers. With a staff of less than 50 but over 1,600 volunteers, they are so important to us,” explains Caitlyn Barker, Community Engagement Coordinator at MOFGA.
The fair was a particularly unique challenge for the MOFGA team to manage. With over 10,000 shifts for a 3-day event, volunteer management was crucial. “We have over 10,000 shifts that need setting up for our annual fair,” shares Barker. “Previously, we couldn’t differentiate between the various roles and needs throughout the fair.”
Not only was signing up for volunteer events a challenge that needed to be solved, but signing in on the day of a volunteer event was a manual, paper-based process. “Usually that process is many, many binders full of printed material with volunteers pouring over them to find names and shifts,” says Barker. MOFGA needed a new tool that was more customizable, intuitive, and could manage their significant volunteer needs.
How We Helped
Streamlining Volunteer Management and Integration with Virtuous CRM
The first tool MOFGA implemented was VOMO, which they transitioned to from Volunteer Hub. MOFGA chose VOMO because it provided them with an easy-to-use volunteer management tool that allowed them to create a personalized experience for their volunteers.
Since the fair is such a large event for MOFGA, they were specifically excited to find a solution that would improve the volunteer experience over the three-day event. VOMO had several features that appealed to the MOFGA team.
“With VOMO, we can create unique landing pages for each area,” explains Barker, “and within the landing page, we can include relevant information and describe the different roles in that area so people know what they are signing up for.” VOMO had the functionality they needed, and it was easy to use for all of their volunteers.
After implementing VOMO, MOFGA also transitioned to the Virtuous CRM and RaiseDonors tools, which they selected after evaluating several CRMs. Since all of these tools integrate, MOFGA was excited about the chance to implement tools that worked together and shared data across platforms well.
MOFGA Records Nearly 20,000 Volunteer Hours in First Year
Using VOMO, the organization registered over 1,600 volunteers and recorded nearly 20,000 volunteer hours in the last year. This translated to an economic impact of $440,000, an amount adjusted to accurately reflect wages in rural Maine.
Volunteers found the sign-up process easy, and the kiosk feature for check-in tents made the registration process smoother. All of these incredible results have also meant that the MOFGA team is spending less time managing their volunteer software, which allows them to focus their efforts elsewhere.
Barker and the MOFGA team have also benefited from the customization of the VOMO platform. “VOMO lets me personalize everything and create plenty of opportunities for people to learn about not only our organization but also about specific events we’re hosting,” says Barker. This functionality allows the MOFGA team to better communicate with their donors, which has helped them grow their volunteer program.
MOFGA implemented the VOMO tool first and then Virtuous CRM and RaiseDonors. They are still getting familiar with the benefits of using these tools together, but from what they’ve seen already, the benefits of an integrated platform will be significant.
The Benefits of an Integrated, Responsive Platform
As MOFGA looks to the future, they are excited about the ability to have a fully integrated platform that gives them a holistic picture of their supporters. “The more you know about your supporters, the better,” points out Barker. Understanding all of the ways someone is supporting your organization is key to building that long-term relationship and genuinely connecting with them. MOFGA now has the tools to make that process much easier for their team, and they are excited to see how Virtuous will continue to help them grow.