Any cause worth fighting for requires tremendous support and hard work. Naturally, volunteers are the most valuable resource for nonprofits and social initiatives. They are superheroes who bring their skills, values, and unyielding support for causes that matter to them.
Whether you are a cash-strapped small NGO or a national organization, engaging highly committed and dedicated volunteers is crucial for the achievement of your organization’s goals. Even the United Nations has a full-fledged Online Volunteer Program to fuel its peace-keeping and development efforts.
But, how do you find your champions, ambassadors, and everyday leaders who will help you make a meaningful impact?
Here are 4 insightful tips to recruit more volunteers for your cause:
TIP 1: USE INFOGRAPHICS
If you’re a nonprofit hoping to gain more volunteers and support, look to your data!
Look at your current volunteer base: are they working enough hours? Where do they put in the most time? Are they being recognized for their efforts? Where did you find them? You may be thinking, “Great! That helps me recruit more volunteers, but what does that have to do with visuals?”
Simply take the data you’ve gathered about your volunteers and think about all the content you could make to encourage more volunteers to sign up.
You could highlight how many hours your volunteers have contributed:
TIP 2: SHARE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES ONLINE
You might also be considering other places to share volunteer positions that aren’t on your website, especially websites that let you post volunteer opportunities for free. Some of these free options include:
Websites belonging to your partners
Directories specific to your location, like the United Way and All for Good
Community service listings on the websites of local colleges/universities and service-related clubs
Sites like SignUp, SignUpGenius and VolunteerMatch offer free and paid options depending on your needs. Be sure to do your homework on the restrictions of free postings, which can include advertisements or limited exposure, lumping you into a pile of organizations that’s challenging for potential volunteers to sort through.
TIP 3: ASK POTENTIAL VOLUNTEERS DIRECTLY
It’s actually preferred by many people who show interest in a cause to be reached out to and asked directly, especially when they’re not sure where to start with volunteering or whether they’re even the right fit for an open role.
This doesn’t mean neglecting the process of effectively announcing and sharing your great volunteer opportunities through your preferred channels; it means you shouldn’t stop there! Consider your messaging as a primer for reaching out and asking people directly.
Also, consider asking key people face-to-face by inviting them out for a coffee date or to a special event. This shows you’re serious about having this person involved, which will likely be taken as a compliment.
TIP 4: THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Even in the nonprofit world, there’s competition. So it’s incredibly important to be creative when recruiting volunteers for your organization. Recruiting is similar to sales in that you have to think outside the box to get people interested and involved with your organization. An idea to get you started: personalized email outreach.
Personalized email outreach is a classic sales tactic that’s great for getting people interested in a product or service. Whether you’re targeting local companies or schools that you’ve never been in touch with before or rekindling relationships with volunteers who haven’t stopped by in a while, reaching out through a personalized email will get people engaged and spread awareness about your cause.