Volunteer recruitment is one of the most important aspects of maintaining a successful nonprofit. The question of how best to connect excited, authentic community members with impactful work remains critical for organizations to consider. Below, we have compiled a list of the top 7 volunteer recruitment tips that we have gathered from our experience with nonprofits using the GivePulse platform.
1. Post Opportunities Effectively
Volunteers learn about community engagement work through many different sources. Determine ahead of time whether there are specific groups that might be particularly interested in volunteering with your organization and target your outreach appropriately. Are you looking for help from students? Do you think that retired teachers might be ideal for an education program? Find ways to ensure that your work reaches these audiences by reaching out to higher education institutions and high schools, churches, and corporate giving programs. Tailor your message for the target audience, and they will quickly make their way to your opportunity. Many of our partners, for example, post opportunities to university pages, amplifying their outreach for students.
2. Post Opportunities Digitally
Using online resources, whether social media or online platforms, can increase the range of people who see your opportunities. GivePulse provides an online platform where you can list opportunities and match them to interested volunteers. These posts can be shared to social media, maximizing the range of volunteers who might learn about your organization. Volunteers can also connect with opportunities via web and downloadable native app presence — joining a platform like GivePulse that offers both a web and downloadable app presence provides volunteers the ability to view opportunities no matter what device they prefer.
3. Partner Up
Your nonprofit is one of many in your local and national community, all engaging in important and often overlapping ways. On GivePulse, you’ll find a network nonprofits and their dedicated community members, many of whom are excited to discover new virtual and in-person opportunities. Affiliate and engage with other organizations to promote opportunities to one another’s communities. If you can illuminate the ways that your efforts coordinate and aid one another, and reiterate that an impact to one benefits all, you will encourage community members to volunteer widely and often, sharing their time across nonprofits. Such affiliations can expand the scope of the volunteers you reach.
4. Discuss the Impact of the Work
Volunteers want to know they are making an impact, making data-driven storytelling essential to volunteer recruitment. How are your volunteers making an impact? What does their engagement change in the community? If volunteers understand how their work will impact their community, they are more likely to want to engage. Include both stories and statistics to show how truly impactful their engagement can be. You can use reflections and testimonials from other volunteers to reinforce these conversations. On GivePulse, volunteer reflections offer feedback to nonprofits that can help them improve or can reveal the personal and community outcomes of their engagement. In addition, tools such as insights and heat maps offer visual tools for telling your story of impact!
5. Offer Information Up Front
Volunteers may be wary of participating in a volunteer opportunity when they are not sure of its exact details. In addition to ensuring that the time, date, and location are easy to find, make sure that you explain how volunteers will be engaging if they choose to sign up. Our partners often write detailed descriptions of upcoming events to ensure that volunteers have sufficient insight to make an informed decision. In addition, offer clear instructions about how to apply and how volunteers will be expected to report hours after the fact. Knowledge is a powerful catalyst for action.
6. Stay in Contact
Sometimes a volunteer may express interest and then suddenly stop responding to emails. Follow up! Keep track of volunteers who have filled out applications but have not joined any volunteer opportunities. It never hurts to make sure that you have tried your best to reach these volunteers. If they decide to engage, they will make a lasting impact in your community.
7. Volunteer Management
Effective volunteer management is its own form of recruitment. When done well, volunteer management maintains existing relationships — and these current volunteers will recruit others of their own accord. When someone has volunteered in the community, reflect and have the volunteer coordinator chat with the volunteer about their experience and about opportunities to improve. This is also an excellent time to reinforce for the volunteer how they made an impact to the program and the organization.
Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments! And if you use GivePulse, feel free to share how GivePulse has supported volunteer recruitment or where we could improve. We love to hear your feedback.
To learn about how GivePulse can help you with volunteer recruitment, schedule a call with our success team.