Written by Michael Gorman, a freelance writer and proofreader from the UK who is currently working for several assignment proofreading services. Being interested in day-to-day development, Gorman writes various blog posts and discovers new aspects of human existence every day.
People love volunteering. From popular celebrities to college students, everyone wants to do good for others and the community. If you’re wondering how to improve and evaluate your volunteer program, then you’ve come to the right place.
Volunteers are everything to a nonprofit. They believe in you and your mission. They are willing to give their 100% for free, which makes their contribution precious. However, just like with employees, your volunteers should be managed professionally. Yes, it may sound strange as they engage freely and out of their own time, but organizations need to recruit, select, evaluate and show appreciation as they do with any employee.
Here’s a complete guide on how to make your volunteer program more attractive in 2020.
Are you waiting for people to reach you and participate? If so, you’re missing out. Here are some ideas to expand your list of volunteers.
If you have a college or university nearby, contact their career services offices. They can help you connect with students willing to participate in your volunteer program. Students are idealistic, energetic, and highly motivated. They have plenty of time to share and seek to gain valuable job skills while volunteering.
Community boards are basically free boards located in neighborhoods or schools where you can put up your announcement posters.
Register your organization with online services like Givingway to access a larger pool of qualified volunteers. Organizations registered on GivingWay can recruit on-site and online volunteers, and efficiently manage volunteers thanks to its built-in messaging and CRM tools.
You can also use social media to advertise your announcement. Who isn’t on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook these days? Over 72% of US adults are on social media. So, it makes sense to make it a part of your volunteer recruitment efforts. Just make sure to put up the right material that is straight to the point.
Determine Who You Want to Recruit
There are several methods you can employ to recruit new volunteers. Of course, not every tactic will be appropriate for your organization.
According to experts at best essays, aside from writing a perfect job description, you also need to evaluate who you want to recruit and what their role will be. Consider which volunteers could perform the given tasks best and who might be interested in the first place. Based on your field of work, you might attract people from different demographics like Baby Boomers or Millennials.
You need to decide how long you’ll be needing them for and what their jobs will be. For example, when speaking with a young prospect, focus on how he or she can be involved and help. As the prospect realizes their participation has a positive impact, they become more eager to engage.
Video is a great way to illustrate how young folks can help make a difference. Using footage of volunteers working with your organization and sharing their experience is an ideal strategy.
Even if the assigned job is simple, take the time to train your volunteers, demonstrate the jobs, and mentor each participant through the first few hours. If possible, team each individual up with an experienced volunteer to make the job easier.
When training volunteers, make sure to use adult learning techniques like group involvement. Volunteers do not like to be lectured. They are willing to participate in the training, so treat them accordingly. Also, as mentioned earlier, include clear expectations for the volunteers in your training. Make sure they are well aware of the job required and the quality measures you’ll take to evaluate their work.
Consider Small-Scale Volunteering
Micro-volunteering or small-scale volunteering is based on the idea of individuals being able to volunteer for smaller periods to do certain jobs. This concept of small-volunteering has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, which makes it worth a try.
The aim here is to make the entire process of volunteering effortless. Individuals are provided with a series of small tasks that they can complete at any time and place as per their preferences. Organizations can recruit online volunteers to perform certain online tasks usually only requiring a small amount of hours to be completed.
Organizations get a plethora of opportunities from small-scale volunteering as the tasks offered can range from helping with content writing to spreading a petition. The reason it works is that it doesn’t take a lot of time and doesn’t place any demand on the volunteers or the organization.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun
Volunteering does not have to be all work and no play. It’s worth noting that hosting fun local events will help draw a plethora of volunteers to your nonprofit.
Speaking of fun events, your imagination is really the only limitation. I mean, you can have a potluck dinner and make it accessible to the public and also have your employees and staff invite their friends. Or, you can host a meet-up at your local restaurant or bar. The possibilities are endless.
- Just Ask. People like being asked to volunteer. Simply announce why your nonprofit needs volunteer assistance and those willing will surely participate. However, make sure to invite your most effective leads personally.
- Lifetime volunteers. Establish a relationship with your new and old volunteers. When managing them, treat each volunteer as if he or she is your employee. Show respect while managing them, give feedback, and be sure to provide a rewarding experience. This will make them want to come back
- No is not never. If someone says no to volunteering, that could mean a lot of things. For starters, their schedule may not work with yours and/or they may feel as if they are not going to enjoy the work at the time. So, your job is to start looking for volunteers as early as you can. They may not be available next week, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be the next month or year.
Quality volunteers are often considered the bricks that hold nonprofits together. So, implement the methods explained above in your volunteer recruitment program to avoid any unnecessary hurdles. Our list of tips to make your volunteer program more attractive surely does not cover everything but we hope that it will help your volunteer program!
Head to our blog for more helpful tips about volunteering abroad! You can also check out our GivingWay – Volunteers, Donors & NGOs connect Facebook group to connect with other volunteers and nonprofits! 😁
The views expressed in this guest post are solely those of its author and do not necessarily reflect the views of GivingWay. The material and information contained on the GivingWay blog is for general information purposes only. GivingWay will not be liable for any false, inaccurate, inappropriate or incomplete information presented in the GivingWay blog.