Volunteers are a crucial part of every nonprofit organization. It would be impossible for you to serve others without them.
A strategic 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.
Let's write a winning volunteer recruitment email.
- Creating an Effective Volunteer Recruitment Email
- Volunteer Recruitment Email Types
- Volunteer Recruitment Email Templates
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.
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 to 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.
Some volunteer management platforms, like Shift, have built-in marketing capabilities to help automate these emails.
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.
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 might 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
32% of former and 31% of non-volunteers don't volunteer because they weren't asked. Therefore, you shouldn't assume that willing individuals will come to you to volunteer; you must reach out to them directly.
Don't forget to include your call to action, and check out our recruitment email templates below!
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.
Volunteer Recruitment Emails Templates
Get started with these recruitment email templates and examples:
- General Volunteer Recruitment Email
- Event Volunteer Recruitment Email
- Bring-a-Friend Volunteer Recruitment Email
General Volunteer Recruitment Email
Subject Line: Ready to make a difference?
Hi [Volunteer Name],
Interested in making a difference locally?
My name is [Volunteer Leader Name], and I'm the [Volunteer
Leader Title] at [Organization Name].
I’m reaching out to share some exciting volunteer opportunities
to make an impact in our community.
Our mission is to [Mission Statement]. We do this by [Brief
Program Desciption]. We’re only able to bring these much-needed programs to our community through the support of local
Signing up to volunteer is easy! Register here [Link to
Registration], and select the volunteer opportunity that you love!
Ready to schedule your first volunteer shift? Here’s a list of
exciting volunteer opportunities [Link to Volunteer Opportunities
Simply select the shift that works for your schedule.
Please reach out to [Contact Email] with any questions you may
Thank you for learning more about volunteering with
Event Volunteer Recruitment Email
Subject Line: City Cares Annual 5K is almost here!
Hi [Volunteer Name],
What an exciting time of year! The City Cares Annual 5K is right around the corner, and we need your help!
We're looking for enthusiastic volunteers to cheer on participants, assist at check-in locations, distribute beverages at our hydration stations, and more.
Ready to be a part of this incredible day?
Sign up to volunteer at [Link to Event Volunteer Page].
We can't wait to see you,
Bring-a-Friend Recruitment Email
Subject Line: Let's Volunteer Together!
I love volunteering at [Organization Name], and I think you would too!
Volunteering with [Organization Name] is fun and rewarding. Together, we can work to [Mission Statement].
Interested in joining me? [Organization Name] is hosting a Bring-a-Friend Day on [Event Date]. We'll prepare and distribute meals and meet lots of awesome community members.
Reach out to me to learn more, or feel free to check out these other volunteer opportunities [Link to Opportunities Page].
See you soon!
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.
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.