Volunteers don’t usually just show up at your door. You have to seek them out. While this can be difficult, your efforts will not be fruitless. The more work you put into finding good volunteers the better off you’ll be. When recruiting, make sure to have a way to record volunteer data such as contact information or special skills. A mobile device or laptop connected to your volunteer management software works best because the information goes straight into the system.
Here are seven ways you can recruit volunteers:
1. Utilize job and volunteer fairs
The best thing about job and volunteer fairs is that people are coming to find organizations they want to work with. These gatherings can bring hundreds of people and chances are, you’ll find a few who fit your needs. A good way to optimize these fairs is to describe to people the skills they will learn working with your ministry. According to World Volunteer Web, you need to sell your programs, meaning you need to make your ministry and what it’s doing appear as interesting and valuable as possible. Showing people what they get for volunteering is a smart way of doing this. By focusing on what the volunteers will receive in return for their service, you’ll hopefully draw in a good group of people.
2. Make challenges on social media
Social media can be a powerful tool for reaching out to people. If you need something specific done, make a challenge to your Facebook friends and Twitter followers and see if they can complete it for you. Say you need a logo or a flyer designed for a new event you’re hosting. You can put out a call for submissions on social media and provide a small reward, such as a gift card to a local restaurant or store. You can even ask the store owner to provide the gift card as a donation to your ministry. While this isn’t necessarily a good way to find long-term donors, it is a smart way to get specific work completed. Also, it’s a effective way to engage with people through social media.
3. Reach out to your congregation
The people who visit your church on a regular basis are some of your ministry’s biggest supporters. If they aren’t volunteering already, you need to reach out to them and ask for their help. Many of them will happily help you with an event or small issue. You can reach out during regular service or through email or phone calls.
4. Go to universities and colleges
Events at educational institutions can be gold mines for volunteers. College students need experience, and working with a nonprofit is a smart way for them get it. When you visit a college, make sure to discuss personal development with potential volunteers. Like at a job fair, the more you explain what volunteers will receive the better chance you have of recruiting some great talent.
When you arrive at colleges or universities, make sure to have a few items to give away. T-shirts, key chains and flyers are all common choices. When you give items away, you give students something to remember your ministry by. This can remind them to reach out if they haven’t already.
“The more you can show donors their impact, the more likely they are to continue helping.”
5. Tap into your donor network
The people who donate money may also donate their time. While you don’t want to ask too much of your donors, consider sending out a personalize email calling for their help. A smart way to recruit donors as volunteers is to show them how their time as well as their money will help the ministry, according to SignUpGenius. Donors are often encouraged by results. The more you can show them their impact, the more likely they are to continue helping.
Also, encourage donors to recommend others who would make good volunteers. Your donors are generous people, and they probably know other people who have similar values and tendencies. Because of this, your donors can be extremely helpful individuals when it comes to volunteer recruiting.
6. Encourage volunteers to bring a friend
Tapping into your current volunteer network can help you recruit more people. Talk with your volunteer team and see if they have any friends that are interested in providing service to the ministry. Encourage them to bring a friend with them to the next volunteer event. When they do, make sure to get the contact information of the new volunteer so that you can reach out to them at a later date.
7. Send out a call for volunteers online
If you’re struggling to find people willing to help your ministry, consider sending out a massive call for volunteers. Utilize social media, email marketing and your organization’s blog. The farther you spread the word, the better chance you have of reaching the right people. When you make a call for volunteers, make sure to set up a volunteer registration online that feeds right into your nonprofit software. That way, even if people don’t follow through and volunteer right away, you have their contact info for a later date.