Nonprofit organizations rely heavily on volunteers to help carry out their mission and achieve their goals. Without the time and effort of dedicated volunteers, many nonprofit organizations would struggle to fulfill their objectives and make a positive impact in their communities. Therefore, it is important for nonprofit organizations to effectively find the best volunteers and retain these volunteers to support their efforts.
Whenever the term “volunteering” pops up most of our minds generally go to physically being present on field to aid the cause you support and the nonprofit organization. But, with the lockdown and subsequent travel restrictions brought about due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many nonprofit organizations had to shift their operations online. While some of the better-funded organizations managed to make the switch and adapt quickly, availing the best volunteers virtually, there were many others that couldn’t keep up with the pace due to a lack of monetary and human resources alike.
As travel restrictions have either been completely lifted or eased in most parts of the world, the shock waves the pandemic sent through every sector are still fresh. The aftermath of which is still pulsating. Nonprofit organizations that couldn’t keep up with the technological advancements, were at a disadvantage in being found and in turn, receiving help from the very best volunteers a nonprofit could ask for.
In this article, we will discuss how you can choose the best volunteer for your nonprofit organization and how you can retain these volunteers.
Finding The Best Volunteers For Nonprofits
There are several ways that nonprofit organizations can find volunteers to help them with their work. One of the foremost and most effective ways of finding volunteers is to get the word out that you need volunteers.
Reach out to people in the community: Reach out to the local community and let people know about your nonprofit organization and the opportunities available to volunteer. Use flyers or even word of mouth to spread the word to be able to get the best volunteers. You will be surprised by the number of people who are willing to help. Local newspapers and community bulletin boards can also be great ways of letting people know your nonprofit needs volunteers.
Leverage your social media handles: It's no secret that social media usage is at an all-time high; use that power for the greater good! Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are excellent choices for finding volunteers who are interested. Through these tools, you have a lot of chances to raise awareness of your organization and your work while concentrating on the interests of the people who make up your target audience.
With the help of Google Ad Grants, NGOs may promote volunteer recruitment by using free ads. This is a fantastic approach to alert the public to volunteer opportunities and to generate interest in your organization.
Using an online volunteering platform: There are times when the ways proposed above might not work for you, and you might not be able to find the right volunteers with the right set of skills. This is when online volunteering platforms can play a huge role in finding you the right volunteer. Chezuba has over 120,000 volunteers signed up with them, ready to assist nonprofits with their needs virtually.
Virtual volunteering can really make a difference to your nonprofit as this way you will be able to connect with talent from across the globe and provide you with valuable insights and information. Sign up with Chezuba or any other online volunteering platform to avail of the service of volunteers virtually.
Newsletters- In your newsletter, make a call to action asking for excellent volunteers and describe the volunteer jobs you need to fill. Be very explicit about the application process; perhaps direct them to your website to complete an application. Without preparation, you risk attracting people who might not be the best fit for the job.
Selecting the right volunteer
By following the steps mentioned above, you are sure to find a volunteer in no time but finding a good volunteer, will take a little effort from your side. Here are a few tips to find the cream of the crop.
- Set your description right
Finding volunteers is similar to hiring new employees. Before signing up, there are important details that potential volunteers want to be aware of. When you know what precise assistance from volunteers you need within your nonprofit, you'll want to write "volunteer position descriptions" that will make the majority of this information easily accessible to them.
Make sure to include the following information in your volunteer position description:
- Expectations and the intended outcome of actions.
- The time commitment they are making (i.e. hours and frequency – 9 am to 10 am, 2 days a week, 2 weeks a month).
- The talents and knowledge you need them to know.
- Conditions and limitations, such as background checks, age requirements, and waivers must be signed.
Sharing this information in advance with potential volunteers can help you find the right volunteers because all of these are crucial factors that interested people would evaluate when looking into volunteer opportunities.
- Make the onboarding process easy
The process of onboarding new volunteers ensures that they have the information, abilities, and habits needed to contribute effectively to your organization. When new volunteers come on board, greet them with a little knowledge about your organization. This way they will be able to get to know your organization and cause better.
- Make their experience with your organization fun
At the end of the day, volunteers are kind-hearted people who would like to take some time out of their busy lives to help your organization. Make sure to respect their time and efforts and give them due credit and recognition for their efforts. This way it will be an enjoyable and memorable experience for your volunteers and organization. Your volunteers may also suggest their network to aid your nonprofit and thus, you will be able to expand your circle of influence and volunteers.
To sum up, Here are some tips:
- Provide a simple application process.
- Give precise directions on how to complete the application.
- Be sure hyperlinks work if you're directing them away from a social media post or internet page.
- Make sure to include enough details in the application to aid in candidate screening, especially if you're trying to fill a unique position.
- Let prospective volunteers know when they may expect to hear from someone - and if that'll be by phone or email.
- Assign a single person to serve as the point of contact for inquiries from potential volunteers inside your nonprofit.
- When interacting with them, be considerate and patient. After all, they are eager to begin and undoubtedly would have a million questions.
- Make sure their interests align with what your organization requires.
In addition to making volunteering easy and convenient, nonprofit organizations can also provide incentives for volunteers. This can include offering recognition and rewards for volunteers who go above and beyond in their efforts. For example, a nonprofit organization could offer a certificate of appreciation or a small gift to volunteers who complete a certain number of hours of service.
One of the biggest challenges that nonprofit organizations face when it comes to finding and retaining volunteers. Many people are willing to volunteer their time and effort, but they may not be able to commit to a long-term volunteering relationship. Therefore, it is important for nonprofit organizations to provide support and opportunities for growth to their volunteers. This can include offering training and development opportunities, providing mentorship and support, and recognizing and rewarding the efforts of volunteers.
Nonprofit organizations rely on volunteers to support their efforts and achieve their goals. To find volunteers, nonprofit organizations can reach out to the local community, make volunteering easy and convenient, and offer incentives and support to volunteers. By doing these things, your nonprofit organization can attract and retain the best volunteers who are dedicated and passionate about your cause.
Chezuba is an online volunteering platform that aids nonprofits in finding the best volunteers to further their mission. With more than 120,000 kind hearts signed up, you are sure to find a volunteer to help you virtually. Chezuba’s easy-to-use platform also provides nonprofits with the support they need by having ready-to-post templates. This will help potential volunteers to have a thorough understanding of what your expectations are and apply accurately. Sign up on Chezuba today to find the best volunteer for your nonprofit organization.