Volunteering for a nonprofit organization is a brilliant thing to do, but sometimes recruiting volunteers for your group can be challenging. Knowing how to get volunteers and how to run a successful volunteer campaign is a vital skill for any charity group, small or large.
When it comes to carrying out your mission as a nonprofit organization, the support of volunteers is essential. Without the manpower to hold fundraising events, raise awareness of your cause, and enact important charitable work, nonprofits would find it harder to carry out their work in the community.
This article explains the best methods for recruiting volunteers and some great ideas for how to recruit volunteers from your local community. So read on for the best volunteer recruitment tips and how to equip your nonprofit for action!
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Why is volunteer recruitment important?
It’s a vital part of any nonprofits’ operations. A nonprofit’s volunteers are the people who make the magic happen!
Volunteer recruitment strategies provide nonprofits with the manpower to run the charity. From creating a website, to overseeing publicity and communications, running an office, and putting together charity events, volunteers are essential for any nonprofit.
Furthermore, the more volunteers you have, the bigger your reach in the community will be as your nonprofit’s network will touch more people.
In short, knowing how to recruit volunteers and encourage volunteer engagement in your nonprofit is fundamental to any cause.
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Ways to recruit volunteers
Volunteer recruitment can seem like quite an overwhelming task, especially for smaller nonprofit groups. However, there are many simple and effective ways to recruit volunteers that you can do with a small staff base and few resources, until you’ve got those hands to help you scale your efforts.
When it comes to volunteering recruitment campaigns, social media and the internet are your friends! Nowadays most people will turn to the internet to find nonprofit volunteer opportunities, so it’s important to consider your online presence – social media, website, emails, etc.
That said, in-person events are also hugely effective, especially for local nonprofits, as you can engage volunteers from your immediate community to support a local cause.
How to recruit volunteers
Below are some of the best ideas for how to recruit volunteers for a nonprofit organization.
Email and Social media campaigns
Utilise social media to create an online volunteer campaign and reach more people. Create posts or videos explaining who you are and what your mission is, and call for volunteers for specific roles you might be looking to fill, or an event you need help to organize and carry out. Encourage your current team to reshare the posts on their pages too.
Similarly, you can send out emails to your current contact lists calling for more volunteers that they can share with friends and family. Make sure to include links to your nonprofit’s website where people can find out more information about who you are and how to sign up!
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This article on ‘How to Raise Awareness for a Cause’ contains some useful information about creating Facebook ads and Instagram posts, which can work in the same way for recruiting volunteers.
Organize a volunteer recruitment event
A volunteer recruitment event is very similar to a fundraiser, but instead of raising funds you are seeking volunteers! Of course, often the two go hand in hand, and a fundraiser event can serve as a way to promote awareness of your organization and encourage volunteers to sign up.
For smaller nonprofit groups, a community volunteer recruitment event such as a restaurant meal is extremely effective. You can invite the local community to join you in a fundraiser meal and campaign for recruiting volunteers at the same time.
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Partner with a local restaurant for your fundraiser and set up a publicity stall in the restaurant on that day with information about your cause, upcoming events, and a volunteer sign up sheet for people to join. Take their phone numbers or emails so you can get in touch to say thanks for taking part in the event and give more details about how they can volunteer!
Refer a friend program
A very effective idea for how to get volunteers for your nonprofit is a referral program. Often it requires a small base of volunteers already signed up to grow from, as the idea is that current volunteers can share a link or sign up page with their network to encourage new volunteers.
A referral program can be a fun way to grow your nonprofit’s community. You could even offer small perks to volunteers who achieve a set number of new recruits!
Corporate campaigns and partnerships
For a more ambitious idea for how to recruit volunteers, consider a partnership with a corporate company! This is a relatively new volunteer recruitment strategy that many companies are now engaging in, and it can have a huge impact for your nonprofit.
With a corporate campaign, companies give their employees a day off from work to volunteer with your organization. This can be for a specific event, such as a donation drive or fundraiser, or as more of a team training day with some fun activities as well as education about your cause.
The idea is to raise awareness for your cause and encourage individuals to sign up to be a volunteer long term too. It is also a fun way to engage with the community and get your nonprofit’s name out there!
Local newspaper, magazine, or radio ads
It’s super easy to put a volunteer recruitment ad into your local newspaper, and often comes at very little cost. Specify what you’re looking for and what you need help with, and include contact details for potential volunteers.
You can take this one step further by reaching out to your local magazine or radio show to see if you can get a short segment to talk about your organization and call for volunteers. A chat with a radio host is a great way to raise awareness of your nonprofit in the local community and call on listeners to volunteer!
How To Find Nonprofit Volunteer Opportunities
Sometimes individuals are looking for a way to volunteer for a nonprofit group but don’t know how to find these opportunities, which is why it’s so important for nonprofits to have good volunteer recruitment strategies!
Finding nonprofit volunteer opportunities
That said, there are a number of ways you can find nonprofit volunteer opportunities near you:
- Google: Search ‘non profit volunteer work near me’ in Google for local nonprofits events. Explore their websites for volunteer recruitment information or contact details so you can reach out to them.
- Social Media: Use hashtags to find local causes and volunteer campaigns near you. Hashtags like ‘nonprofitvolunteeropportunities’ or ‘nonprofitvolunteer’ could generate some good finds! You could also search for a specific organization if you have one in mind.
- Nonprofit volunteer organizations: There are a number of nonprofit volunteer organizations dedicated to connecting volunteers to nonprofits, making it super easy to find a cause you want to help with:
Ways to volunteer for a nonprofit organization
There are many ways you can volunteer, from giving your time, to providing support, resources, and more. If you’re looking to start volunteering for a local charity, here are some ways to find a cause you care about and start giving back!
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Host an event
Connect with a nonprofit and host a fundraiser event. Something simple like Krispy Kreme’s Digital Dozens campaign is a great way to get started – who would say no to donuts?!
With Krispy Kreme’s Digital Dozens, individuals can purchase a dozen Original Glazed donuts and Krispy Kreme will donate up to 70% of sales back to the charity. Delicious donuts and a huge donation – it’s a win win!
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Volunteer your time
Offer to assist a nonprofit with anything that needs doing, donating your time to help them out. This could be helping with admin, covering phone lines for a shift, or perhaps volunteering at a food kitchen over the festive period – a popular nonprofit volunteer opportunity during the holidays.
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Volunteer your skills
If you have a specific skill, such as graphic design, accounting, or marketing, offer that! Ask if your local nonprofit wants any help in this area and share your expertise to help them out
Donation drives are very common ways that nonprofits help the community. Find out if your local groups are organizing any drives and see what you can give – food, clothes, toys, etc. Nonprofits organizing donation drives often also need volunteers to help collect items and distribute them afterwards, so you could volunteer to help with this too!
The time is now!
With these ideas for how to recruit volunteers you’ll have an army of people ready to change the world in no time!
Make sure to check out the GroupRaise Krispy Kreme Digital Dozens campaign as a way to kickstart your recruitment campaign and attract new volunteers with some delicious donuts!
Remember, the nonprofits that attract the most volunteers are often those that have a strong community presence, so regularly posting online, going out into the local community, and hosting fundraiser events is a great way to boost your publicity and bring in more volunteers.
Take a moment to see which restaurants near you are available for a fundraiser meal as a way to connect with your local community and build your network.