Nonprofits Source reports the value of the time Americans volunteer each year amounts to a staggering 193 billion dollars. Nonprofits of all sizes know volunteers are their most valuable asset. So, how can your organization become more competitive in recruiting volunteers?
Clearly Define the Role Within the Job Description
While vague terms cast a wide net, no one wants to spend their free time walking into a situation blind. By outlining the exact responsibilities of the role, you’ll not only allow the volunteer to decide if they’re a good match for the role but also force yourself to think about what exactly you need out of your future volunteers.
Demonstrate the Volunteer Opportunity is Mutually Beneficial
Aside from the universal benefits of volunteering, which you can read more about here [link the health benefits of volunteering blog], make sure to convey to your candidates how the opportunity will benefit them specifically. People volunteer for all kinds of reasons. While some offer their time purely for civic duty, others are seeking experience. Whether it’s leading a team, working with technology, or sales and marketing, if people see that your position can provide that experience, the role stops feeling like an obligation and instead becomes an opportunity.
Now, wouldn’t it be nice if there was somewhere, volunteers could go to see that the role you need to fill can provide the experience they need? Somewhere like a job description?
*Additionally, check out this article on employee motivation, to provide mutual benefit to your current volunteers.
Require an Application
Even if you’re looking for anyone, anyone at all to come in and help out, it’s a good idea to have some sort of screening process. On one hand, people want to feel like they’ve earned it. On the other hand, you’re going to attract volunteers that plan to keep coming back.
The article linked above notes that to feel motivated, “every employee needs to feel like they’re making a difference and that their efforts and accomplishments have meaning.” Luckily, this is really easy to do in the nonprofit sector. Whether through brief email updates, videos, or newsletters, there are a million ways to do this effectively, here is an article with some great ideas on how to get started.
Offer Flexible Degrees of Commitment
Some volunteers come in excited to clock 15-20 hours a week, while others are looking for more of a once-a-month arrangement. Including opportunities with various levels of engagement in your posting, will help with recruiting volunteers.
*No task is too small! Micro-volunteering is a concept that’s gained popularity over the last few years. See this article, covering 5 micro-volunteering platforms that prove you always have time to give.
Civic Champs' Mission is to deliver the most intuitive and impactful volunteer management and engagement software for nonprofits and their champions