Recruiting for Volunteers
People and Culture

Recruiting for Volunteers, The 13 Must-Do Steps 

Ian Cook

July 5, 2024

time

mins

Volunteer recruitment is a critical aspect of any volunteer organization or charity, and finding prospective volunteers is often one of the most challenging tasks you can have.

The next big challenge is finding and attracting quality volunteers who are passionate about making a difference, along with volunteer retention, which is essential for the growth and sustainability of your volunteer programs.

In this article, we dive into the 15 steps and effective strategies for recruiting volunteers, helping you expand your network of dedicated individuals who are eager to contribute their time and skills to your cause.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to identify your organizational needs to determine the specific volunteer roles, time commitments, and skills required.
  • Craft a compelling recruitment message that resonates with potential volunteers and highlights the impact of their contribution.
  • Utilize multiple recruitment channels, such as online platforms, social media, and local community networks, to target specific demographics and communities.
  • Encourage word-of-mouth recruitment by creating a positive and engaging volunteer experience.
  • See how to leverage modern tools like Vouch that can make volunteer recruitment and donor outreach easier.

What Are The Volunteer Recruitment Basics?

Volunteer recruitment involves attracting and screening qualified individuals who are enthusiastic about community involvement. Volunteer recruitment is one of the first steps in developing a successful and sustainable volunteer program.

By effectively building a team of volunteers, organizations can fuel their growth and make a positive impact on their communities, be it beating the streets, phones, or, in 2024, social media channels where your target audience and community partners are also active.

The benefits of volunteer recruitment extend beyond just filling positions; they include program growth, increased funding, and volunteer grants, strengthened communities and your brand, and expanded skill pool and networking opportunities. Volunteers play a vital role in philanthropy, contributing significantly to nonprofit organizations.

When organizations engage volunteers through well-planned recruitment efforts, they build a strong foundation for their volunteer programs. Volunteer recruitment is not just about finding people; it's about attracting eager volunteers who are passionate about making a difference and are aligned with your organization's mission and values.

Making sure you are in the right place at the right time to create opportunities for volunteers is everything, and that's something we dive into next!

What Are The 15 Steps For Recruiting For Volunteers?

Recruiting new volunteers is a crucial step in building a strong and dedicated team to support your organization's mission. By implementing these 15 steps, you can effectively recruit great volunteers who are passionate about making a difference:

1. Identify your organizational needs 

You know what your missions and goals are. Still, many organizations often need to remember a must-do step, and that is determining the specific roles and responsibilities you need volunteers to fulfill. From phone callers, email campaign specialists, community events, and savvy digital platform people who can leverage your social media accounts - you need job descriptions to ensure that you have the right volunteer in the right role. Otherwise, your mission can fail before it starts. 

2. Craft a compelling volunteer recruitment message 

Creating a message that highlights the impact volunteers can make and inspires them to take action is everything. This is where we need to take queues from private companies and work on your version of your employer brand. This is, in essence, building the image around your organization and its mission, so your recruiting efforts resonate with ideal volunteers, both active volunteers in other organizations and those who are looking to do more.

3. Target recruitment campaigns 

Today, content personalization is uber-important. You need to tailor your recruitment efforts to reach the right audience for each volunteer position and, in many cases, have unique content for every position. The days of blasting a wide audience really are over, and first impressions matter more in 2024 than ever before. So, by crafting your content specifically for each role and individual needs, your recruitment efforts can be much more effective. Vouch makes this really easy.

4. Utilize multiple recruitment channels 

Building an entire community of volunteers and donors is no small task. So, when it comes to your communication efforts, you need to promote your volunteer opportunities through various channels, such as your organization's website, social media platforms, community bulletin boards, a booth at volunteer fairs, corporate volunteering partners, and more. Usually, a successful volunteer program will be multi-channel. While this can take more marketing, budgeting, and administrative time, by being across popular channels, you can touch potential volunteers at each stage of their volunteering journey.  

5. Encourage word-of-mouth recruitment 

When it comes to building a strong community, it's often your current volunteers, staff members, and supporters that can help you build your volunteer pool, and help you spread the word about your volunteer opportunities. One of the best strategies is highlighting your active volunteers' experiences through video, which can then be shared on social media and your email marketing lists. In the private sector, these are commonly known as employee spotlight questions, and they work remarkably well for inspiring new volunteers to start signing up for your application forms and getting in touch.

6. Form meaningful partnerships 

Collaborating with other organizations, community groups, and corporate businesses to expand your volunteer network is essential when it comes to recruiting for volunteers. Also, keep in mind there are community radio stations, community events, and even established corporate volunteer programs that you might be able to tap into. This is also like in the private business world, where your organization's employer brand comes into play. There are lots of different employee volunteer programs, and those that are created with partners can often be the most effective.

7. Prioritize diversity and inclusivity 

DEIB, which means Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, is crucial in 2024, even more so in volunteering organizations to ensure your volunteer recruitment efforts are inclusive and representative of the diverse communities you serve. DEIB is about building a culture that embraces the uniqueness of individuals and promotes equality in all aspects of life. By prioritizing DEIB in your organization, you can tap into a more diverse talent pool, reach more community organizations, and also appeal to a wider range of donors.

8. Make volunteering more accessible 

Removing the barriers to volunteering is vital. A few ways to do this are to offer flexible schedules, flexible opportunities, transportation options, and accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Some of the top volunteers are busy people who are looking to make a difference, and a motivator for volunteers is to make your program and mission work around them whenever you can. This also helps with people's commitment to volunteering roles, as they can also manage their lives and jobs, etc.

9. Screen volunteer recruits 

Implementing a screening process, such as interviews or background checks, is, of course, a must-do to ensure the suitability of potential volunteers. This is also where modern video tools like Vouch can help, as you can perform one-way interviews to screen candidates and also let your volunteers record their applications at a time that suits them, which is vital for working around their schedules. 

10. Survey volunteers 

Gathering feedback from volunteers to understand their experience is often the best way to improve your recruitment and retention strategies. This is also where a tool like Vouch can help, as you can set your survey questions and let your active volunteers record their feedback in their own time. You might also be able to use this content for your social media posts or training opportunities with a bit of editing. Vouch has AI editing to help speed this up, and if you are yet to use these tools, be sure to book a demo here.

11. Focus on retention 

Your current base of volunteers is one of your most valuable assets, so it's always a good idea to focus on them as much as you do on attracting new volunteers. One great strategy is to give your current volunteers their own private videos and experiences that they can share and be proud of. Develop strategies to engage and retain volunteers, such as offering ongoing training, recognition events, and growth opportunities.

12. Reward volunteers 

In addition to retention strategies, it's always important to recognize and appreciate your volunteers' contributions through incentives, awards, or personalized thank-you gestures. The same applies to your dedicated supporters; it is always essential to show your gratitude and how your volunteers have made a difference in the world and in other people's or animals' lives. 

13. Share your impact 

The final step for optimizing your recruitment efforts is to share the positive outcomes of your volunteers' efforts to demonstrate the impact your volunteers have on your community. Try to reach out to newspapers and blogs and create a PR campaign that shows how rewarding it is to volunteer. 

By following these steps, you can enhance your volunteer recruitment process, attract dedicated volunteers, and create a positive and impactful volunteer program.

What Are Some Further Creative Volunteer Recruitment Ideas?

If you're looking for fresh and innovative ways to recruit volunteers, try these creative ideas that can help you attract enthusiastic individuals who align with your organization's mission and values:

1. Host Volunteer Information Sessions

A great way to showcase your upcoming volunteer opportunities is to organize informative sessions to provide potential volunteers with a comprehensive understanding of your organization's mission, goals, and the specific volunteer opportunities available. This personal interaction allows them to ask questions and make a more informed decision about getting involved. Be sure to have a few of your star volunteers on hand to share their experiences and personal rewards, too.

2. Leverage Social Media Platforms

To help showcase and share your mission, a virtual volunteer opportunity can be created with social media, which can help you reach a wider audience, too. Craft engaging and interactive posts and videos that highlight the impact of volunteering and showcase the rewarding experiences of your current volunteers. Encourage social sharing to amplify your message and attract new volunteers.

3. Engage with Professional Organizations

Establish partnerships with professional organizations in your community that align with your cause. Collaborate on joint volunteer projects or promote your volunteer opportunities through their networks. This can help you tap into a pool of individuals with specialized skills and expertise.

4. Involve Sponsors

Reach out to local businesses or organizations that support your cause and seek their involvement as sponsors. Collaborate on volunteer initiatives and leverage their resources and networks to attract volunteers who are passionate about making a difference in their community.

5. Reach Out to Local Civic Groups

Establish connections with local civic groups such as community associations, religious organizations, or neighborhood councils. Attend their meetings or events to raise awareness about your volunteer opportunities and build relationships with individuals who are already engaged in community service.

6. Utilize Board Members' Networks

Tap into the networks of your organization's board members. Ask them to promote your volunteer opportunities within their professional and personal circles. They can leverage their connections to identify individuals who share a passion for your cause and are willing to contribute their time and skills.

Implementing these creative recruitment ideas can help you attract volunteers with specific skill sets, tap into untapped resources like former volunteers and board members' networks, and leverage the power of social media and community partnerships to recruit dedicated individuals who will greatly contribute to your organization's mission.

Conclusion

Volunteer recruitment plays a pivotal role in the success of organizations that rely on volunteers to support their mission and deliver valuable services to the community. By implementing effective volunteer recruitment strategies, you can attract qualified and enthusiastic individuals who are aligned with your organization's mission and values.

This article has provided 13 strategies for recruiting volunteers, and these strategies, when combined with a focus on diversity and inclusivity, accessibility, and effective volunteer management, can significantly enhance your volunteer recruitment efforts.

Tools like Vouch can also make recruiting for volunteers a lot easier, helping you create video content that captures authentic employee and customer experiences. 

Like to try Vouch?

Be sure to book a Vouch demo today and chat with a video content expert to help grow your organization and share your mission.

Ian Cook

Ian Cook

Creative Lead

Lights. Camera. Traction

Cut through the noise with video.