Attracting the right volunteers online to collaborate with you definitely gives your organisation super-powers – you know this. It boosts your reach, maximises your efforts, and gives your team something to be proud of.
At a glance, the process of successfully attracting volunteers online for your non-profit orbits around nurturing, caring, and clarity.
- Nurturing your current and future volunteers, so they spread the word about how awesome it is to be part of your mission.
- Caring for the ones that show interest, call, email, or fill an online form.
- Being clear on the types of jobs volunteers can take on, and how.
Still, getting people to know about you and sign-in is just a part of the process…
Key #1 – Nurturing your future volunteers and building trust online
Think of it as a cycle. People will likely find you through your website, social media, or a friend. They slowly get involved because they’ve seen some locals featured on your Facebook Page and read great testimonials on your site.
They start by signing to your email list. Then they become donors and read your weekly newsletter, which makes them feel even more connected to your cause.
By now, you’ve built trust. You’ve also nurtured them as valued friends of your non-profit.
Finally, one day, they realise how easy it is to volunteer with you! You’ve been clear about how they can join, what they can do, and have given them a hint on the next steps to follow.
Key #2 – Care for your prospective volunteers
What would happen if this person finally decides to volunteer, and emails you to get more details but then, nothing happens. No reply whatsoever -yikes!
Or they fill an online form and never receive the details. Or can’t find how to contact you directly. Chances are this will turn them off, and throw their enthusiasm out of the window.
At this stage, systems, planning, and a solid marketing strategy are of the absolute essence.
It’s not cool to let your people adrift once they’ve decided to commit at a higher level. I understand non-profit organisations, and the teams running them, many times stretch themselves too thin. But caring for those who sign up is as important as anything, as it proves your volunteer recruitment efforts are headed in the right direction.
The great news is that it doesn’t have to be hard or too much work -more on this on Key #5!
Key #3 – Being clear and getting your future volunteers involved
If ‘content is King,’ clarity is Queen! Make it uber-easy for the visitors on your website to sign up and learn about the volunteering opportunities your non-profit offers. Luckily, a great website will do all the heavy lifting for you!
Try to be specific regarding the types of jobs they’d do. Provide options regarding hours per month, or simply have visible calls-to-action for people to move forward with ease. Our friends from Highways and Byways are doing a great job with this as they clearly feature all the opportunities for getting involved.
Key #4 – Start a Facebook Campaign targeting hyper-local
Facebook Campaigns are a great way to reach out. You can create your own targeted audience and talk directly to them. Go as local as you wish on your volunteers’ recruitment efforts. Have a clear goal and make sure you’ve designed a seamless path taking people from strangers to volunteers. From a Facebook add, all the way to your website, your email list, your events…and more!
Key #5 – Automation and management systems
This is one of the main things helping non-profits’ escalate their volunteers’ recruitment endeavours. It’s important to consider your capacity to take people on board and make sure, again, to provide a user-friendly experience.
Nowadays, there are many marketing automation tools helping non-profits manage and nurture subscribers and folks interested in their projects. These tools encompass everything from handling your database to email campaigns and cross-channel posting. They also give you data that will help you see where you’ve succeeded and where you’ve missed the mark.
Key #6 – Celebrate your volunteers’ achievements
Featuring your volunteers’ contributions, stories, and achievements is an excellent way to keep the wheels spinning. An engaged community is one of the most powerful things you could wish for.
It shows the impact you are having within your community, creates connections, and encourages the ol’ school word of mouth. If you are running the coolest non-profit and your volunteers are having all the fun, why not join!?
Key #7 – Getting the messaging right across all channels
In this article on how to create a 12-month content plan for your non-profit, I delve into the most important elements of a thriving content strategy. The words you use -and how you use them- impact many levels of awareness. From propelling people into taking action, all the way to telling Google who you are, and what you are all about.
Succeeding at recruiting volunteers that are in line with your values is proof of an effective strategy that works. Testing, tweaking, and knowing the tools available to you are ‘maximisers’ of your non-profit journey, so use them strategically and make the most of them!