Volunteers are key players in our mission. They help support us at various events, projects, or programs that keep our non-profit organization afloat. But how do we get and retain volunteers that want to keep working with us?
In this article, we will discuss # ways to recruit volunteers and keep them coming back.
#1 Allow for Flexible Volunteering
Don’t expect your volunteers to be there for long hours or promise to be there for so many months. Create flexible volunteer plans for the short-term and long-term. This works out for some volunteers that have full-time jobs but still want to volunteer. One example of a flexible volunteer plan is 8 hours a week for a month.
This works because volunteers are more likely to commit to a short-term commitment. You can still offer long-term plans for those who are retired or unemployed and may be more willing to volunteer more time to your organization.
Another way you can offer flexible volunteering is by offering remote options. Maybe you have some potential volunteers who want to help but can’t due to limited time availability or no transportation. Allowing remote volunteer opportunities means that your volunteers can work from home on their own available time outside your traditional volunteer hours.
#2 Offer Support and Training for Volunteers
Entice volunteers to show support for your organization by assuring them that they will have proper support and training from staff or other volunteers.
It’s a tight ship running a nonprofit organization, so don’t skimp out on properly training your volunteers. Additionally, if you leave your volunteers to fend for themselves, they may feel unnecessary or unappreciated.
#3 Recruit Friends and Family
Recruit your friends and family to volunteer for your nonprofit. You and your current team of volunteers are going to be your best advocates for finding more help. So, have your current volunteers ask their friends and family to volunteer with them. It’s more fun with people you already know.
Encourage your current volunteers to invite their friends to the cause by making it a fun game.
For example, if you have a big event coming up and need more volunteers, offer an incentive to your current volunteer staff to invite family and friends to join the cause. Whoever signs up the most volunteers wins a prize or a noble title such as “Volunteer of the Month.”
#4 Promote Your Volunteer Program Online
You can go about this in multiple ways as the internet is a large platform to cover. You have emails, social media, your website, and word of mouth from your team of volunteers.
Email. Email marketing is a great way to recruit people that already care about your cause. Be sure to offer training and support to your volunteers in your newsletter.
Social Media. Social media pages on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn are also a great way to connect with your supporters and ask them to volunteer in a large broadcast.
Website. Your website should be more than just a pamphlet about your non-profit. Use it to your advantage and post an ad looking for volunteers.
The more eyes you get on your invitation to your volunteer program, the more likely you’ll get volunteers for your nonprofit. Don’t forget to tell your team of volunteers to post on their personal social media accounts about volunteer opportunities.
#5 Look In Your Community
Look in your community for volunteers that may need volunteer hours or for people that have the time to volunteer. Also, keep an eye out for people that are related to the cause.
Here are some places you can look for volunteers:
Schools and universities. Many students are looking for work experience to add to their resumes or LinkedIn accounts. Volunteering is work and work is experience. Additionally, it sets them out above the rest when they have volunteer experience. Get connected by reaching out to the Student Services Department.
Businesses. Communities themselves want businesses to be more involved in what is happening around the community, and businesses are listening. This is why asking local businesses for support is a good place to start looking for potential volunteers.
Clubs and Community Groups. We don’t expect you to hire a child as a volunteer, but groups like Girl Scouts are usually looking for volunteer opportunities. Reach out to local clubs and community groups to see if they want to help the cause.
Volunteers are the backbone of nonprofit organizations so it’s important to have a good team on your side. Now, you know where to look and how to retain your volunteers to keep your team afloat to help your organization operate smoothly and effectively.