A nonprofit organization needs volunteers to run daily operations, thrive, and raise funds. Volunteers are the backbone of any nonprofit, who use their skills and expertise to campaign for a cause. While these people are essential to a nonprofit’s philanthropic activities, getting hold of volunteers can become quite challenging, especially since people are putting in more hours at their workplaces, leaving them little time to volunteer.
Nonprofits can’t function without recruiting volunteers. Nonprofits need to regularly recruit qualified and committed volunteers who spend their free time working for a cause for the betterment of society. Such candidates are also crucial for volunteer fundraising and achieving the nonprofit organization's goals.
Getting people to volunteer is not easy. The most common reasons that prevent people from volunteering are-
Lack of flexibility- Too rigid volunteering schedules demotivate potential volunteers.
Lack of meaning- Many people do not find volunteering work interesting enough, so they prefer to let go of these opportunities.
Lack of time- Many people don’t have the required time to start volunteering, mostly due to long working hours.
Unknown opportunities- This is quite surprising but many people aren’t aware of volunteering opportunities as no one approached them for this or they don’t know which organization needs volunteers.
Set the guidelines- To attract people to volunteer, prepare a game plan. Here, you got to take some decisions- Assign a member of your team as a recruitment officer, sit down with your team and discuss ways you could approach potential volunteers- on social media, the community bulletin board, running ads in the newspapers, online ads, and so on. Whatever you do, make sure everyone in the team knows what their roles are and what role you are aiming to hire for. Also, assign someone the responsibility of hiring recruits.
Offer some flexibility- Considering that time is every person’s most precious resource, you need to offer potential volunteers some flexibility. For instance, you could offer them the opportunity to volunteer every weekend or for a fixed number of hours every week. If needed, you could let them work remotely if their work is mostly online.
Craft an effective volunteer description- This is similar to a job description. Mention your organization’s mission and what is expected from each volunteer to achieve that mission. Further, explain how volunteering would help the person grow, professionally and personally. Lastly, mention the skills and expectations of the volunteer, so that potential recruits know what is in store for them.
Use social media well- Social media is the best place to amplify your recruitment strategies. You could post your recruitment advertisement on your page, local community pages, or even on prominent local businesses’ pages. Don’t forget to encourage people to share the post.
Onboard effectively- Once you’ve chosen the required number of recruits, introduce them to your existing team and let them know what and what not to do. Onboarding is a great way to help the new volunteers adjust to the work culture. Assign each volunteer a mentor who can guide them to work as per requirement.
Find meaning- Once you’ve onboarded the new volunteers, it's time to know how well they’ve fit into the organization. Get every volunteer to do all the tasks, see what each of them is good at and let them do what they think they’re good at. For instance, someone with good computer skills can be used to manage your nonprofit’s account on custom fundraising software.
To keep your team motivated, express gratitude for good work. Give enough chances for your volunteers to engage in team-building exercises, as not everyone is of the same age or occupation.
Recruitment is never an easy task- you would need to put in all your efforts to recruit like-minded volunteers. Once you do this and let them shine, they could help you achieve your organization’s goals easily and quickly.