Volunteer Training: 8 Pros & Cons of Online Volunteer Training for Non-Profits (2023)



Volunteer training is essential for all nonprofits to conduct as it helps volunteers become acquainted with the different operations and rules. If needed, nonprofits can provide training via online mediums to make it more accessible and comfortable for volunteers. But is it as efficient as in-person training? Let’s look at the pros and cons of online volunteer training to determine whether it will yield the same results as offline volunteer training.

8 Pros of Online Volunteer Training

  1. Easier Accessibility

With online volunteer training activities, nonprofits can provide training resources to more people interested in their volunteer programs. Making all materials available online will allow people to access them from the comforts of their homes or anywhere of their choosing.

  1. Better Reach

Providing online training will allow nonprofits to reach out to more people, which would only be possible in situations like location barriers. Through online training, nonprofits can provide training to a vast volunteer base, thus reaching more people with their training activities. High public reach is an essential requirement for nonprofit event planning and successful volunteer events.

  1. Better Connections

Online training allows nonprofits to build healthy relationships with a broad group of people due to higher reach. People can communicate with each other more comfortably, thus allowing better connections to fall into place.

  1. Can be Self-Paced

Certain training activities, such as videos or PDFs, can be self-paced, meaning people can go through them quickly and not stress about completing them in a hurry. It allows people to train more efficiently and prepare for future volunteer programs.

  1. Cost-Effective

With online training, nonprofits do not have to invest in specific training spaces, equipment, etc., thus saving extensive overheads. These funds can further be utilized for other productive resources for meeting organizational goals.

  1. More Communication Channels

Nonprofits can provide volunteers with more online communication channels, such as group chats, email threads, online forums, and more, which would not be possible otherwise. It will allow volunteers to get updated constantly with all the information necessary for their training activities.

  1. Easy to Send Out Reminders

Online communication channels make it easier to remind volunteers about their performance levels, pending work, new training activities, and more. Nonprofits could easily set up online calendars and use them to send out reminders and notices to volunteers.

  1. Provides Flexibility

With online training, nonprofits provide volunteers with more flexibility. They can choose how to carry out training based on their convenience, thus leading to higher efficiency.

Volunteer Training

Volunteer Training

8 Cons of Online Volunteer Training

  1. Stable Internet Connection is Needed at all Times

Online training may require a consistent internet connection with stable speeds. With this, communicating with other members may be more accessible and staying updated with everything happening.

  1. Higher Chances of Misunderstandings

If no stable internet connection is available, people may find communicating difficult. It may lead to missed information and unnecessary misunderstandings taking place, thus slowing down the training process for volunteers.

  1. Training May Not be as Efficient as in-person Activities

With in-person training, it is convenient to address volunteer grievances and queries more instantly. It may not be possible through online communication or failure to be as efficient as in-person training.

  1. May Lead to Low Communication

Unforeseen internet issues could hinder communication and lower the chances of information flowing between people efficiently. Because of this, nonprofits may not be able to assess volunteers’ suitability and determine if they’re ready to work for volunteer events.

  1. Organizations Will Need Tech Investments

Nonprofits will also have to invest in tech facilities like high-speed internet connections, PC setups, and more to provide online training material to its volunteers. It could prove to be expensive, especially for organizations that are still establishing themselves.

  1. Challenging to Monitor Volunteers

It will be difficult for nonprofits to monitor the performance of volunteers in an online atmosphere. They may not be able to record their progress, which may lead to lower efficiency for volunteer event performance.

  1. Difficult to Manage all Information in One Place

It may be challenging for nonprofits to record all volunteer training activities in one place through online methods. Even if they use management applications, it can be difficult if the application does not align with the organization’s needs.

  1. Can Cause Conflict

There may be a conflict between volunteers who prefer online training channels and those who want in-person activities. If nonprofits cannot adjust to these, conflicts will occur, which may reduce work efficiency.


Conducting online volunteer training has its benefits. With almost everything taking place online, volunteer training can be as practical as offline. However, there will be challenges. Nonprofits must choose mediums that align with their goals and provide training to achieve high-quality and efficient results.