Volunteer recruitment and management are some of the many activities conducted by Non-Profit organizations. With the help of monitory and non-monitory contributions, they work at the grassroots level to keep the organization running for the larger good.
And this is not an easy feat.
Donors, volunteers, funding agencies, and so on all play an important role for Non-Profit leaders to grow their impact. Every Non-Profit organization should measure its progress about how well it is fulfilling its mission and its team’s effectiveness on the job. It is therefore imperative that you are equipped with the right volunteer support to boost your impact.
In this blog, we will cover five innovative ways of volunteer recruitment and what you can do to sustain and adapt volunteer engagement in the long run. This way, as you get busy executing your mission and maneuvering through unforeseen challenges along the way, you will know that you are backed by a strong volunteer support system.
1. Look within your inner circle
The first step is to look for like-minded people you are acquainted with. Think of your current repository of donors, employees, past and current volunteers. You may be wondering whether your donors who have contributed in cash or in-kind, could convert to volunteers.
This said the best volunteer recruits will be those that already believe in your cause – so why not ask them? Go ahead and ask your board members and employees, past volunteers, and donors. Donors contribute financially, but you may be pleasantly surprised how becoming a volunteer is the next natural progression for some donors. You could also consider reaching out to your children’s school or college and proposing a volunteer plan for mutual benefit. Fraternities and sororities are often a central part of college campus life. These student organizations belong to an active philanthropic system. For example, the Durham College of Applied Arts and Technology (Ontario, Canada) offers off-campus volunteer opportunities.
And why not knock on your neighbour’s door and ask for volunteer help! If they cannot contribute their time, perhaps they could spread the word for you or connect you with someone who might be interested or perhaps even gives you some other ideas to boost your volunteer recruitment efforts!
Do you remember reading this famous children’s book: Harry and The Dinosaurs Go Wild? It is a story of a little boy who makes postcards of endangered animals and offers them to a local store for sale to raise money to help protect these endangered species. With that in mind, why not partner with local stores and leave a signboard at the cash counter for volunteer services at your Non-Profit?
Coffee shops could also be a great option. You will have to do some research first on the coffee shop owners and how they feel about your cause. If they feel strongly towards what you do, they are likely to allow you to make an announcement during the busy hours or leave a poster or play a small video on the screen showcasing what you do with a call-to-action to provide volunteer support for your projects.
Depending on what your cause is, you could partner with other local organizations. For example, if your Non-Profit is working for an environmental cause, say, to protect marine life, you could partner with the local city aquarium to help you get volunteers.
3. Leverage digital channels
Depending on the volunteer demographics and interests you require, you could identify the relevant digital channels to announce the volunteer opportunities with your Non-Profit. For example, if you are seeking Gen Y as volunteers, you may want to consider Instagram and Facebook as your social media platforms to focus on. Several online communities and Facebook groups share common values, interests, or beliefs as the cause you are striving for. You will be pleasantly surprised to know that the keyword ‘volunteer opportunities near me‘ has 100K – 1M average monthly searches in the United States and Canada (as per Google keyword Planner, Aug 2020 – July 2021). Leverage your social media connections, website blogs, and existing email database of donors and volunteers to send personalized mail encouraging them to volunteer.
4. Self-publish eBooks for free
Amazon’s Kindle is the most widely owned e-reading device in the US (Statista). Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is a free e-publishing site that allows you to publish your eBook without paying a single penny to the publisher. You do not have to write a long eBook, either. It could be a short 30 pager including text, real-life stories, images and an explanation of how this resonates with your cause, and how volunteering enriches lives and gives newer perspectives.
Conduct a survey and request your past volunteers to share their views. You could convert their answers into a short eBook.
Once the book is ready and published on KDP, remember to market it. You could share the link within your circle of friends, families, employees/teammates as well as social media platforms and website. Think of a topic that strikes a chord with individuals who desire to volunteer for your cause. What are their motivators to volunteer for a non-profit? And address that motivation with an inspiring story. You may want to publish this eBook for free as your goal here is to encourage volunteers to come forward and help support your cause.
5. Piggyback on highly engaged social media accounts and platforms relevant to your cause
Look out for organizations and individuals who are influential in the digital and social media space that resonates with your cause. You could research for digital content in the form of blogs, videos, or interviews in Non-Profit publishing magazines or volunteer councils or forums, or aspiring social media influencers in your space. Engage in the form of a comment or share whatever content they post that resonates with your social media brand persona. You may also want to check out how you can work with Volunteer Canada and state associations in the United States like the Minnesota Council of Non-Profits (MCN) to help you in your volunteer recruitment efforts.
Volunteer opportunities platforms such as VolunteerMatch.org, Idealist.org, and AllforGood.org are good places to explore as well. Be sure to start this process early so you have the time to build a relationship. When the time comes to call out for volunteers to support your project/initiative, you will have a strong network of like-minded people to help spread the word and contribute to your cause.
Volunteers are a critical resource to help you achieve your mission impact. So, invest time to build your volunteer management strategy and tactical ways to accomplish your goals. Getting the best individuals who truly care for your work will require some effort. So, start early and then enjoy the multiplier effect all these activities have to boost your volunteer recruitment management.
All this hard work to get the right individuals to volunteer for your initiatives will require managing intake and skill matching, creating future volunteer opportunities, scheduling and reporting. GiveLife365 helps you with the creation of volunteer registrations and opportunities, assigning responsibilities to volunteers, scheduling, and time-management tracking of volunteer efforts.