3 Super Tips for More Effective Volunteer Recruitment

Posted Thursday, August 24th, 2017 by Sterling Volunteers Staff

When it comes to the nonprofit landscape, “one can never recruit too early, too often, or too well.” For many organizations, there can never be too many volunteers to help fuel your missions and make more changes in the lives of the communities you serve. A strong, passionate group of volunteers empowers you and your organization to make a greater impact because you know you have a group that is eager to donate time and effort to creating change for the good.

  But sometimes, and understandably so, recruitment is easier said than done. Why? Well there are a number of factors that come into play when you begin to recruit on behalf of your organization. Things like your budget and the availability of volunteer candidates come to mind. We recently discussed some quick tips on better recruiting, and we’re doubling down on this issue because it affects every volunteer program at one point or another. It’s not always easy to think of new ways to advertise your organization and its volunteer opportunities, so we are offering some ideas to help!


Cast a Wide Net

It’s no secret that nonprofit organizations fuel your missions with grants, donations, and government funding. Because of this you may struggle with budget issues that affect how often and how effectively you recruit. If your organization is searching for volunteer candidates while also balancing a less than ideal budget this shouldn’t change your recruitment goals. Not as long as you are willing to get creative. The secret to recruitment is the same no matter the budget: cast a wide net. Don’t just utilize one recruiting technique – use them all. Put fliers up at the local community center, post online to your organization’s social media or to volunteer recruitment websites, and don’t forget your most valuable recruiting tool… your current volunteers! Your volunteers love giving back to the community, and chances are they know people who would also enjoy donating their time.


Don’t Forget Position Descriptions

We presented an entire webinar around this very important but oft overlooked issue for volunteer programs. If you want to attract volunteers, a well crafted position description that is detailed and polished is an absolute must. An unenthusiastic position description written with little detail on what the position entails isn’t likely to have volunteer candidates lining up around the corner. Instead, volunteer candidates should read a position description and immediately know how they will be assisting your organization, what impact they will be having in the community, and, yes, they should get a feel for the office/work culture that is unique to you, your organization, and your volunteers.


No is Not Never

Start recruiting well ahead of your nonprofit’s busiest times/events. By starting early your organization can get in touch with as many people as possible and keep contact with them. Even if potential volunteer candidates initially feel they cannot commit time to volunteering, their schedule may very well change in a few months. By making contact early, communicating with them through your organization’s quarterly newsletter or connecting over social media, people who initially said “no thanks” will think of your organization when their schedule opens up and they are ready to start giving back!


Once you’ve recruited the best and brightest volunteer candidates for your organization, don’t forget to make the most out of their time with you.Volunteer Managers, what is your organization’s secret to tackling these common nonprofit recruitment issues and creating a dynamic team of volunteers? We’d love to hear your tips. Connect with us on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn to share your tips for success!