How to Recruit Student Volunteers

Service-learning can have a profound impact on students. It allows them to learn about themselves and the world while positively contributing to their community. 

Students who participate in service-learning report feeling better prepared for work and are more likely to perform better academically than their peers.

Service-learning can be a huge net positive for the community, too. Students can provide much-needed capacity to support local organizations' work while creating a stronger town-gown relationship.

If your institution offers opportunities for students to engage in the community, you may be wondering how to spread the word. This blog post will discuss how to get students involved in your institution's service-learning initiatives.

Partner With Local Organizations 

If you're interested in getting more students involved in service, you'll need to start with partner organizations. 

Seek out partners who can collaborate with you to host students and provide meaningful ways to engage. 

To appeal to a broad range of students, you should create a network of host organizations covering various issues and causes. For instance, a local primary school may be able to host a mentoring or tutoring program. Meanwhile, a healthcare organization may be an excellent placement for a student considering a career in medicine. 

Before you start designing and promoting your service-learning offerings, ensure you and your partners are on the same page about what you will contribute and how you will collaborate on program management.

If you're using GivePulse to coordinate your service-learning programs, you can set up Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) documents to define the terms of your partnership. When it comes to recruiting students, you can also set up an agreement between the student, the partner and yourself to make sure everybody is clear on the terms of your collaboration.

Understand What Motivates Students 

When recruiting student volunteers, it's essential to understand what motivates them. Service-learning programs can allow students to learn new skills, gain valuable experience, and make a collective impact in their community.

It's also important to remember that student volunteering is not all work and no play! Many students are drawn to service opportunities that are fun and engaging.

When recruiting student volunteers, highlight how your opportunity and community partnerships can help them meet their personal goals. Some examples of what you can highlight include:

  • The opportunity to learn new skills.
  • The chance to gain valuable work experience.
  • How the service will make a difference in the community.

By understanding what motivates students, you can ensure you speak their language when talking to them about the benefits of service-learning.

Get the Word Out

There are many ways to spread the word about service-learning offerings on campus.

Post about opportunities on your social media channels and your newsletter, and ask campus partners to do the same. GivePulse makes it easy to share links to your social feed, directing student volunteers straight to the opportunities that matter to them.

Enlist other student-facing centers and professionals on campus, like your career center, to help you share opportunities. It may also be helpful to print posters or flyers to hang up around campus. And many service-learning centers host events or open houses, particularly at the beginning of the semester, to help engage students. 

Lastly, don't underestimate the power of a referral! Encourage student volunteers to invite their friends to participate and work with faculty to promote relevant community engagement opportunities during lectures and classes. Word of mouth is still one of the most powerful ways to create a buzz.

Recruit Student Volunteers With GivePulse

Whether you're just starting out with service-learning or looking to scale your existing offerings, a robust service-learning management platform is essential to help you recruit — and retain — volunteers. 

GivePulse provides an all-in-one system to list, manage, communicate with and schedule students. That means students can easily access a comprehensive listing of what's available to them when they seek opportunities. 

Plus, a simple online application allows students to register their interest in minutes. This enables you to seamlessly approve or deny applications and maintain a database of all of your new volunteers.

Ready to level up your student volunteer recruitment process? Schedule a demo with GivePulse to learn how we can help you engage students and enhance your community impact.

About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, cities and municipalities and K-12 and school districts. Together, we connect millions of people from all walks of life to create positive social change.

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