Home » Volunteer Recruitment Ideas: 20 Awesome Ways to Get the Volunteers You Need
Are you relying on the same core group of volunteers each week to deliver your vital programming? This dedicated group is essential to keeping your volunteer program afloat. But if you’re not inspiring new support, you’re not moving your mission forward.
So, we’ve put together a mega-list of fresh volunteer recruitment ideas to give your program the boost it needs to thrive.
Instead of casting a wide net, opt for a more targeted recruitment strategy. Targeted recruitment means you’re directing your message to a target audience. Targeted recruitment helps you find passionate volunteers with the skills and qualifications needed for your volunteer opportunities.
Here’s how you can target your campaign for more successful volunteer recruitment:
Recruit more volunteers by making your volunteer program accessible to more people. Offer volunteer opportunities that welcome participants with different abilities. Virtual volunteering is great for many and can help broaden your volunteer program to accommodate those previously restricted by in-person volunteering.
In addition, make sure to note whether opportunities are wheelchair accessible on your volunteer site. Create search filters or labels so that individuals can easily find an opportunity that suits their abilities.
Your donors already believe in your cause. Why not ask them to volunteer? Use your donor database to identify engaged supporters. Then, let them know about your volunteer opportunities. Share opportunities regularly (email is an excellent way to keep your donors engaged) and mention your volunteer program in your thank yous.
We recommend these five strategies for turning your donors into volunteers.
Many volunteer programs rely on community partners, from campuses to local businesses, to fill critical volunteer roles and build capacity. Grow your network by working with like-minded organizations in your community.
Here’s how to form meaningful community partners to grow your volunteer network:
Social media is undoubtedly one of your most powerful recruitment tools. But how do you get your appeal for volunteers in enough hands? Take to social media! While your call for supporters might not reach millions overnight, you can use these pro social media tactics or these top social media content tips for going viral to help broaden your reach.
Email marketing has become so popular that most people encounter at least one daily marketing email (if not dozens). Why is it so popular? Email marketing is remarkably cost-effective (the return on investment for email marketing is $42 for $1 spent). In other words, email is a great way to recruit supporters.
People read a lot of emails. Here’s how to make your recruitment message stand out:
Email isn’t the only tool at your disposal. Multi-channel marketing involves communicating with your prospects and supporters across many channels. Use a multi-channel marketing strategy to increase engagement, connect with more prospects, and grow your network.
The key to a successful campaign is to choose your channels wisely. The media you choose will depend on where your volunteers are and where you want to find new ones. So, you may choose to use a combination of online and offline channels to share your recruitment messages, such as Facebook, email, and mailers. We recommend you check out this comprehensive guide to marketing your volunteer opportunities.
Volunteer fairs are a great way to acquaint lots of prospects with your cause. Host your fair at a location that sees lots of foot traffic, like your local university campus, businesses, community centers, or houses of worship. Invite community partners to attend.
Set up booths and provide printed materials and swag so interested people can learn more. Post your social media handles so potential volunteers can keep in touch. And finally, make the event more fun with games, live music, and food!
Your organization’s impact can be used to inspire new volunteers to take part. Use your marketing channels (like social media and email) to share your volunteer program’s impact, successes, and goals. A volunteer management software can help you automatically track data like:
That said, you shouldn’t just rely on quantitative data as a recruitment tactic. Sharing your community stories appeals to people’s emotional sensibilities and goes a long way in inspiring new support. Interview your current volunteers and gather stories from clients and other stakeholders. Post the stories on your blog, website, social media, and in your newsletter.
These days, it can feel like everything is accomplished online. But we believe that nothing replaces face time (the real kind). The best way to develop meaningful human connections—and get people to believe in your cause— is to show up in person. So, why not recruit volunteers by making an appearance at places where interested people might gather?
Set up a booth at community festivals, career fairs, small business associations, or networking events for local professionals. Invite community partners and other volunteers to attend, give away swag, and get your name out there.
Your current volunteers can provide valuable insight into your program. Survey your volunteers to understand your current supporters’ attitudes toward your program and identify strengths and areas of improvement.
More specifically, you can use volunteer surveys to:
To understand the effectiveness of your recruitment strategy, your volunteer survey should include questions like:
Then, use this information to drive your recruitment strategy.
Sustainable volunteer programs represent the diverse makeup and voices of their community members. Adopt better recruitment practices by prioritizing diversity and inclusivity in your recruitment efforts. To welcome new voices, reach out to leaders at community institutions that address diversity and equity, such as:
Your current supporters are your most valuable asset when it comes to getting new volunteers on board. Offer your most dedicated supporters leadership opportunities and boost your recruitment efforts by forming a volunteer ambassador program.
Volunteer ambassadors can boost your recruitment efforts through key recruitment activities, such as:
Provide your volunteer ambassadors with the tools, resources, and mentorship they need to share your recruitment message.
Host a contest for newly registered volunteers. Put their names in a drawing and give away a gift card or prize. A little healthy competition is also a great way to keep volunteers engaged and logging their hours. Set benchmarks and reward volunteers for reaching these milestones.
National Volunteer Week, which typically falls in the third week of April, is a great time to boost your visibility in your community. Many community-based organizations tend to see a significant increase in volunteer participation during this time.
Here are a few ways to celebrate volunteer week and capitalize on the extra engagement:
Word of mouth makes for powerful advertising. In other words, your current supporters are some of your best recruiters. In fact, there are lots of ways to tap into your current supporters’ networks to get more helping hands:
Your volunteers are motivated by helping others. But a little incentive can help encourage some to sign up when you need them.
Here are a few incentives to get new volunteers through the door:
Give new volunteers free swag when they sign-up. Branded merchandise encourages people to identify with your organization’s mission. Plus, you’ll double your efforts when supporters wear or use your merchandise for advertising your program. Select giveaways that are useful for most people, like t-shirts or mugs. Get them professionally designed (you can tap your talented volunteers for this!) and printed.
Text messaging is the new frontier for volunteer recruitment and management. Send out text blasts, asking supporters to sign up for text alerts (you can do this through your volunteer registration portal). Include a snappy call to action like, “Calling all volunteers! We need you to help our annual 5K for Kids run smoothly. Click this link to sign-up today!”
To send text blasts efficiently, you’ll need the technology in place. A volunteer management software, CRM, or texting management system will allow you to personalize your text messages and record responses. Meanwhile, volunteers can quickly and easily sign-up for a volunteer opportunity directly through their smartphones.
Volunteer recruitment is no simple task. That’s why many volunteer professionals rely on volunteer management software to find better candidates quicker.
Volunteer management software can assist with core recruitment functions, including:
Are you interested in volunteer management software? Sign up for a free demo today!
Author: Addison Waters
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