What is a volunteer?
Volunteers are ordinary people, who, out of personal and voluntary commitment are driven to become part of something more challenging. With that said, all organizations fundamentally need strong leadership talent to execute their strategy successfully, right? Finding volunteers is thought to be a difficult process, especially if you’re a nonprofit just starting out. Learn how to capture those recurring volunteers for your nonprofit, and spend little to no money doing it!
Idealist recommends doing outreach in your community, starting with existing networks and working your way out. Also, encourage your existing volunteers to recruit others. Find out what events are happening in your community, and ask to set up a booth. Do some research first to determine the needs, attitudes, and motivations of your ideal volunteers.
Did you know you can post an opportunity to LinkedIn? You can find professionals wanting more; professionals that want to leave an impact on the community. Volunteer postings on LinkedIn are less than $50 per posting. The guidelines for posting on LinkedIn are as follows:
- Draft a compelling description
- Start the job title with “Volunteer”
- Include “LinkedIn for Good”
VolunteerMatch provides nonprofits with the services and tools needed to help recruit volunteers–for free! They attract thousands of people looking to give back everyday.
Catchafire is a community of individuals striving to push the social good sector forward by focusing on efficient and effective ways to give back. One way they do this is by matching professionals with nonprofits based on their skills, cause interest and time availability. All nonprofits are welcome into the Catchafire community; they must have demonstrable impact, strong leadership, and be aligned to Catchafire’s mission.
Social Media & Blogging
Stories and visuals are powerful; communicate first hand experiences to your audience. Blog about your impact on the community, local events you’ve participated in, and anything of interest to your readers. This can help create and inspire action!
Your Strategic Assets
I came across an article from Stanford Social Innovation Review called The New Volunteer Workforce. The article states that you should view each volunteer as a strategic asset–and develop a plan to take full advantage of them. When channeled correctly, volunteering can be a highly valuable asset. They recommend that every organization should invest in the infrastructure to recruit, develop, place, recognize, and retain volunteer talent–view each volunteer as an opportunity.
Highly skilled volunteers transfer ideas, inspire action, and spread vision throughout the community and organization. Get out in the community and find your strategic assets!