It’s not always easy to recruit volunteers who are involved in your cause. Currently, there are so many nonprofit organizations competing for the same people that it can be difficult to find new volunteers.
So, it is important to think outside the box and think about how everyone can benefit. Are you lacking inspiration and creativity?
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
9 Unique Ways to Attract New Volunteers
Let’s take a look at ways you can attract new attention to your organization’s volunteer program:
1. Make it Sensational
Movemeber is incredibly successful because it created a fun and interesting way to participate in the cause. In fact, the idea was so successful that now it involves people from all over the world. The ice bucket challenge was also a great success.
Do you have the means to do something like that?
If you can create something fun, interesting, and competitive, it will spread much faster than, for example, handing out leaflets to people on the street. In fact, it is an opportunity to get involved and a fun way to show people that they too can get involved in helping their community.
2. Get Creative with Role Descriptions and Titles
It’s simple, but it works: funny headlines and descriptions of volunteers attract attention and make a good first impression.
Take this opportunity to go above and beyond what the potential volunteer expects. Surprise them and pique their curiosity.
On the other hand, incomprehensible and dry names and descriptions can seem vague and leave a lot of room for interpretation. Try to be a little mysterious and creative while being clear enough. Work with current volunteers to create juicy and descriptive working titles. Volunteer job descriptions should also be creative and include as much detail as possible.
3. Create Competition (make it friendly)
The first step in recruiting volunteers is finding them. A good way to do that is to create a well-meaning competition. For example, you could organize a written contest where you ask people to research ideas in line with your nonprofit organization’s goal, or a photo contest where you ask people to take photos related to their idea.
Countless writers are looking for inspiration. This may be exactly what they need to start. And when they think about how they want to express their ideas, people in your competition can see that they agree with your goals and mission.
Then, here’s the key: Tell them how much you love their ideas, and ask them to help you.
4. Get Active on Social Media
Social networking, when used appropriately, is an effective way to reach out to potential volunteers that your organization may not know about. For example, you could launch a targeted advertising campaign on Facebook to inform people in your area about new volunteer opportunities. Social media is also a great way to share your nonprofit story and mission with the community.
5. Become a Face, Not a Name
We don’t like corporate images. We’ve turned into an audience attracted more to people. That’s why it is important to give your nonprofit organization a face, a unique voice, and a humane personality. It makes recognition much more likely and easier to identify with your company rather than the corporate do-gooder tone.
A good way to strengthen your identity is to tell stories about the subjects of your organization and also existing volunteers. Let your audience know more about them. This makes existing volunteers feel special as well as helping to show the outside world the human side of your organization.
And if potential volunteers who have read these stories feel they have something to contribute or can relate to the stories, they are more likely to say yes to your request for help. At the end of the day, we love people who are like us.
6. Partner with Local Youth Organizations & Educate Their Program on Your Cause
Local church groups, philanthropic chapters, and boy/ girl scouts are often looking for new volunteer and training opportunities. Instead of handing out pamphlets, you may suggest talking about your organization’s mission or organizing a tour or event in a small group.
If you want to go above and beyond, consider preparing a video to attract new volunteers.
7. Build an Online Community
Luckily, the internet allows for back-and-forth communication. You can ask questions and give advice to listeners, which stimulates conversation. You can share the results of your organization and even encourage your supporters to help spread your message.
The more opportunities you create to communicate with your audience, the more they will get involved – this includes new volunteers.
Contact the people who seem to be most involved online and ask them if they are willing to help your organization (without pestering them).
8. Experiment with Influencer Marketing when Possible
Have you ever heard of “influential marketing”? In short, the practice is to focus on a few specific members or supporters of your organization and then take to popular social networks to promote a brand or idea.
The impact of influencer marketing is a fun and effective way to reach a younger audience. Young volunteers who see those they look up to or idolize supporting your mission will also want to support the mission. This works the same as peer-to-peer motivation.
Encourage your young volunteers to share their online experiences which will encourage their friends to volunteer.
9. Plan a Fun Social Event
Social service is an important way to attract volunteers for your nonprofit organization. Try organizing something else this year to reach out to a new group of potential volunteers. Instead of a traditional event, try to organize a family day, photo contest, or big group art project.
Involving Volunteers Unique Ways
Use what you have and what you have brought to the table: make the world a better place and enjoy it (which is important). If you can convince potential volunteers that your cause is genuine, you are on the right track to landing new volunteers.