Sure, your nonprofit needs help…but that’s probably not the most compelling reason for people to want to volunteer with you. Friends of friends may make the best volunteers to serve on a committee. Successful nonprofit executives from Forbes Nonprofit Council offer firsthand insights on nonprofit leadership & trends.
How do I create a volunteer recruitment plan?
Make sure to state all responsibilities that the volunteer will need to fulfill. Be specific and make sure the opportunity description is clear and concise. Explain your nonprofits mission, values, and culture as part of the description. Provide volunteers a brief outline of the next steps in the recruiting process.
Training opportunities and volunteer-only virtual events like roundtable discussions or town halls with your organization’s leadership are popular examples. Reviewing your strategy’s performance during and after each new recruitment push is invaluable for strengthening your efforts over time. This is one of the major benefits of using dedicated volunteer management software that provides concrete data to analyze. Most organizations use a combination of these tactics to reach new volunteers. You can continually update your outreach strategies over time, but it’s a good idea to determine the specific methods you’ll use for your next opportunity or event in advance. This will help keep your efforts focused and save your team’s time.
If you want your social media followers to know about your volunteer opportunities, you need to talk about them. Try sharing blog posts about a recent volunteer opportunity, sharing photos of your volunteers, or giving star volunteers a social media shout out. This will communicate to your followers that you value volunteers and want more people to get involved in your program. Coordinate with HR departments to connect with retirees. Often retirees look for volunteering opportunities to fill their new free time. Try reaching out to HR departments at local organizations to find current or soon-to-be retirees who may be interested in joining your program. They can provide valuable insight and perspective, and often have more flexible schedules than younger volunteers.
Offer A Range Of Volunteering Opportunities
Healthy Serving Culture – Before you even start to invite new folks into your organization, take time to look how things are running and where improvements can be made. Your current volunteers can be some of your best recruiters, inspiring others with their positive experiences. Recruiting a strong group of volunteers for your nonprofit is truly a marathon, not a sprint. You find a great volunteer, but then for various reasons, they have to step back. Don’t get discouraged, and focus on engaging more people ready to get on board with your mission.
Now that you’ve learned the basics about volunteer recruitment, it’s time to start putting these tips to use and recruiting committed volunteers to your cause. Informally visiting people, companies, and organizations face to face can prove to be quite meaningful, especially if you do so more than once. It also can be valuable to do a presentation to a group, such as a political or civic group predominantly comprised of people of color. Of course, getting an invitation to visit these groups isn’t always easy unless you have already established relationships with community leaders who can open doors for you.
Top Volunteer Recruitment Strategies
So, you’ve started recruiting and gotten a few responses. Instead of her usual blurb about volunteering, Carrie proposed that the communications director at her organization interview a few of her existing volunteers about what volunteering meant to them. Afterschool tutors help students with homework and teach them study skills and other academic success strategies twice a week at our tutoring centre. Must be available from 3PM-5PM, Monday and Wednesday, or Tuesday and Thursday, and willing to commit to a semester.
Great volunteers can be a huge asset to your nonprofit, donating hundreds or thousands of hours of work each year to your cause. These sites match volunteers with organizations in need of help. Be sure to check out sites that serve your specific region as well.
Share Your Great Volunteer Opportunities Everywhere
Social media is an incredible tool for reaching new audiences and engaging supporters. Develop concrete social media strategies to maximize the effectiveness of these platforms for your organization. Create exciting, shareable content and encourage volunteers to post about their own experiences, too. Peer-to-peer recruiting is a great way to boost sign-ups and visibility for your cause, too.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has taught your organization to be flexible, and it’s important to communicate that need for flexibility to your volunteers as well.
- There are a number of ways to field feedback from volunteers, including one-on-one conversations and feedback forms on your website.
- Some groups who may have cancelled in-person events due to COVID-19 may be back to hosting in-person guest lectures, while others have resumed events online.
- Ready to start finding the passionate supporters who’ll drive your mission forward?
- If you’re hosting a silent auction or other fundraising event for the first time, you might want to find out who has been involved in other similar events in your community .
The most effective tactic is to automate the process with post-event surveys sent directly to supporters via email or text. If you’re a fundraising organization, take a look at your current base of support for more insights. Your current community of donors will likely be the first place you’ll look for new volunteers to recruit, so understand what draws them to your mission in order to more effectively target them. Who is your average donor, and what motivates them to support your work? Feedback and data from past campaigns and events can reveal the elements that are most exciting and motivating for your audience. What will our first volunteers do, and what skills are we looking for?
The Ultimate Guide To Volunteer Recruitment: 15+ Strategies
For example, if teaching is your profession, you might feel most comfortable and fulfilled when spending your volunteering time tutoring young students. Or, if you’re a certified public accountant, you might be willing to lend your services to a nonprofit during tax season. Consider what other types of organizations might be interested in helping you find volunteers. For example, an organization seeking to support those with cancer might see if local cancer care clinics are willing to post flyers advertising your program.
Grey2K, a national organization dedicated to ending greyhound racing, gives several options for ways to get involved. Some, like organizing a rally, are a large undertaking. Others, like hosting an outreach table, are less of a commitment. They even give the option of sharing posts on social media–a very low commitment, but still a big help. In addition to spreading the word, don’t forget to ask one-on-one. You may have supporters who would love to get more involved with your organization, if they only knew you wanted them. Virtual Volunteer Strategies in a Time of Social Distancing.
Where Do We Need Volunteers?
Recruiting volunteers doesn’t usually require creating a lot of new material. With a section on your website and a good volunteer job description, you can go a long way. If you decide to go with Google Ads, consider applying for the Google Ad Grants program. This provides $10,000 per month in Google Ads to charitable organizations, helping them to promote their missions and programming to a wider audience than would normally be possible. Local church leaders are often looking for service opportunities for their youth groups and ministries. Connect with local religious leaders and find out what sort of opportunities their congregation is most interested in and to share information about your program. Try getting creative with the sponsorship levels or packages you offer.
Any organization that could use extra support for campaigns, events (in-person or virtual), and other internal tasks or projects can benefit from attracting supporters willing to donate their time and skills. Promote your volunteer sign-up page on your website and social media channels to make sign-up to volunteer quick and convenient. Make sure to announce any new volunteer shifts to your database of volunteers and donors through email. If you have existing local business partners, consider exploring their corporate volunteer programs, then market your volunteer opportunities to their employees. Capitalize on every marketing channel at your disposal to ensure every volunteer shift is filled.
In fact, 14% of all RSVPs on our own platform come from automated bring-a-friend prompts! Use volunteer management software that empowers supporters to easily post about their next opportunity and share custom sign-up links with their friends and family. All types of mission-based organizations recruit volunteers. These range from national-level nonprofits, political campaigns, unions, and advocacy groups down to the smallest local schools and committees.
Consider asking your existing active volunteers to invite their friends and family to volunteer with them. You can simply ask them to share your social media post to promote your volunteer opportunities with their network. A volunteer recruitment plan is a process of attracting and recruiting new volunteers that have the skills and interests that align with the core needs of a nonprofit organization’s operations and goals. An optimal volunteer recruitment plan should define the volunteer staffing requirements for a particular program, initiative, or event.
Develop a good reputation for your volunteer program by emphasizing appreciation from the get-go. Make a plan to thank each person who attends an info session about your program or comes to a one-off volunteer opportunity. This is a great way to find volunteers with skills that can benefit your organization in a variety of ways. Civic groups are a wonderful resource for recruiting volunteers because they’re sincerely invested in making your community a better place. Plus, they know the challenges facing your community and can help you connect with others to solve problems and spread your mission in your local area. Try not to attend events like these alone the first time you go.
It clearly lays out next steps toward becoming a volunteer, and provides an email address and phone number, along with a great big “Apply to Volunteer” button. It’s easy to navigate, which means people are much more likely to actually begin and complete the process. It’s worth it to make sure you aren’t offending or otherwise giving prospective volunteers a negative experience before they even get to you. Don’t underestimate the power of a form that won’t load, a cold-sounding receptionist, or an unreturned phone call to turn a volunteer off your organization forever. All it means is that someone isn’t being paid for their time.