How can a nonprofit recruit the right volunteer? In The Seven Deadly Sins of Recruiting Volunteers, Volunteer Power provides seven tips to recruit volunteers.
Just Ask. People liked being asked to volunteer. Announce why and when your organization needs volunteer help, but invite your best leads personally.
Team. Work with your employees or board to create a list of individuals you feel work best for you, and then ask them to volunteer. Ask them what they enjoy doing.
Lifetime volunteers. Create a relationship with new and old volunteers that will make them want to come back. When managing volunteers, treat them as if they are an employee of your organization. Manage them with respect, provide feedback and empower them to have a rewarding experience.
No is not never. Start recruiting volunteers as early as possible. If you ask an individual to volunteer and they say no, don’t take that as a rejection. Their schedule may not permit or they may feel that it is not a position they’ll enjoy. Continue your contact and awareness raising- Your volunteers will sign on at different phases of their yearly schedule and their life circumstances.
Leave seats empty. It is important for organizations to screen volunteers to make sure that they are the “right fit” for the job. Sometimes a volunteer spot is better left empty then filled with a person who is just there to fill the spot.
People Driven. Recruit individuals who want to be a part of your team and not a seat.
Position title. Individuals are looking at the title of the position as if it was an employment opportunity. Provide as much detail as possible so the volunteer knows what they are signing up for. Even “retirees” like to be recognized with a named role as they often bring substantial career experience through their work for you.
How does your organization begin to find the right volunteers? At the grassroots level, networking in your community with organizations whose members volunteer in groups or individually is worthwhile. The Rotary, women’s organizations, houses of worship, and college student and alumni organizations are just a few examples of the kinds of groups that like to pitch in to make a difference.
VolunteerMatch allows organizations to post needed volunteer positions and allows volunteers to search for events in their area.
VolunteerHub is software that helps organizations recruit and manage many volunteers.
Linkedin and social media are both amazing tools to recruit volunteers. Linkedin allows organizations to post volunteer descriptions and accept resumes from interested candidates.
And remember to spread the word of needing volunteers through various social media outlets with tweets, a Facebook event for volunteering, news of volunteer recognition, and more.
For more information, check out the following Third Sector Today posts: