Volunteers are a crucial part of every nonprofit organization. It would be impossible for you to serve others without them. An effective volunteer recruitment program, coupled with effective digital marketing, enables you to involve more people who are connected to your organization and dedicated to accomplishing your mission.
But, you cannot rely on the same number of volunteers to advertise your program to the community, especially as your organization grows. You have to inspire new support to move forward with your mission successfully. So, how do you get more people to volunteer for your cause?
Whether you're looking for volunteers for a single event or regular organizational tasks, email can be a powerful tool for your volunteer recruitment exercise. It's a simple, inexpensive, and direct way to connect with individuals and cultivate interest in your program. However, your volunteer email marketing campaign's success depends on how you communicate your intentions to your target audience.
Since people receive many daily emails, you need to make your recruitment email stand out, get their attention, and compel them to give feedback.But how? This article explores the various details of creating a volunteer recruitment email.
Creating an Effective Volunteer Recruitment Email
If you already have a list of supporters from which you want to attract and recruit volunteers, then a volunteer recruitment email is the way to go. All you need to do is know what the message is and how to communicate it. Below are the considerations you should make for a good volunteer recruitment email.
1. Start With a Hook
This is the first rule of email communication. Your email needs to start with an eye-catching headline to attract the readers' attention. The hook will let them decide whether or not the email is worth their time. Your hook should be volunteer-focused to get them to self-identify with your cause.
2. Personalization is Key
Everyone likes that personal touch when it comes to communication. Adding the recipient's name or even title in the email's subject line and body gives it a personal touch and makes it stand out. According to Experian Marketing Services, people open personalized emails 29% more than generic or standard ones. Including personal details like name and title increases the chances of potential volunteers opening your emails and reverting.
Personalizing emails, especially when sending you're sending them many people, can be challenging. Luckily, there are email personalization tools that can do so in a few minutes.
3. Be Cordial
Remember you're requesting people to volunteer their time and energy, so you must be as friendly as possible. The tricky part of an email is that the potential volunteer isn't there to see your facial cues or body language to know how appreciative you are of them. You need to explain how valuable their help will be to your cause.
Testimonials can help. You can also share a success story or quote a volunteer(s) who had a positive experience while volunteering with your organization and the impact they made on people; this is still another way of creating a personal touch.
4. Segment Your Message
Before a volunteer email recruitment campaign, you must determine your target audience from the list of your supporters. You cannot send the same email to donors, non-volunteers, past volunteers, or current volunteers. Know your target audience. An email for donor volunteers is different from the one you'll send to regular community volunteers.
5. Use Additional Marketing Tactics
You want to communicate as much as you can to the volunteers through the email. Another secret of effective email marketing is including links to your organization's programs and contact information. You can also link to past opportunities, achievements, past successes, and upcoming events to give potential volunteers an idea of the work you do in changing the community.
6. Be Specific
People don't like reading long emails. Most of us will skim through and get an idea of what the email is all about. A good volunteer recruitment email should be short and sweet. You should communicate your intentions and other details "quickly." Articulate as openly as possible what you're about, how much of their time your program will take, any skills required, the positions they'll fill, and other requirements. That way, you're likely to get responses.
7. End With a Call-to-Action
The aim of the volunteer recruitment email campaign is to attract a good number of volunteers to your cause. Therefore, you should provide interested individuals with a way to get involved. The call-to-action defines the next steps, such as who to contact or how to apply. Remember to provide various communication means like phone or email to accommodate everyone.
According to Constant Contact, a good call-to-action should be simple, touchy, and inspiring. Common call-to-action examples for nonprofits include "Sign up now," "Get involved," "Volunteer Today,"and"Contact Us," prompting potential volunteers to take the next step to work with your organization.
A sample call-to-action can be "Please don't hesitate to contact us today to learn more about us and our volunteer program."
Volunteer Recruitment Email Types
Now that we know what comprises a good volunteer recruitment email, let's look at the various email types that you can write depending on members' needs and interests.
1. Volunteer Interest Survey Emails
You can send potential volunteers an email with a link to a survey asking about their interest in volunteering. Your volunteer survey can ask why they'd want to volunteer, their interests, any specific skills that would be a plus to the organization, and how much time they're willing to volunteer. Basically, this is a way of getting to know them.
These are for individuals who have never volunteered. You can have testimonials from current or past volunteers to underscore the experiences volunteering with your nonprofit organization. Attach volunteers' quotes, videos, and photos to drive more interest.
3. Call for Volunteers' Emails
According to a study by The Center for Association Leadership, 32% of former and 31% of non-volunteers don't volunteer because nonprofits fail to reach out. Therefore, you shouldn't assume that willing individuals will come to you to volunteer; you must reach out to them directly.
4. Benefits Spotlight Emails
Suppose you did not include the benefits of volunteering in your "call for volunteers" email. In that case, you could follow it up with a "benefits spotlight email" to convince the individuals even more.
In this email, let them know why volunteering with your organization is good. You can fit in some testimonials here as well. Also, include what types of orientation, volunteer training, or support they'll get for individuals who feel like they don't have the right or adequate skills.
You can make all these emails into one and communicate everything together. But, remember not to clutter your email with details and make it difficult for would-be volunteers to read.
The Bottom Line
Your nonprofit cannot achieve its mission without volunteers. Emails are one of the most effective, simplest, and cost-effective volunteer recruitment methods out there, provided you do the campaign right. There are tons of volunteer recruitment email examples and templates you can use to make your work of recruiting volunteers easier.
Once you recruit volunteers, you need a way to manage them. That's where we, Galaxy Digital, come in. Our volunteer management software is built to give you everything you need to manage your volunteers and grow your community impact.
Please don't hesitate to contact us today to schedule a free demo.