As a nonprofit organization, you rely on the help of volunteers. When spring and summer arrive, many nonprofits struggle to maintain or find enough volunteers for the increase in special events. It is not uncommon for volunteers to go away during warmer months for family vacations and road trips. Or in some cases, volunteers find new organizations to commit their time to.
Recruiting new volunteers this spring doesn’t have to be hard. Take a look at these 5 tips to recruit more volunteers:
College students often make the perfect volunteers, especially if you recruit a group of them to commit together. They like to do things with other college students during the summer to continue their socializing and are more likely to agree if others say yes with them. Plus, college students aren’t looking for a yearlong commitment which works well for many nonprofits that don’t host events during the cold seasons.
High schools often require students to complete special community projects prior to graduation. Contact local high schools’ guidance departments and ask them to share information about volunteer and project needs your nonprofit has. You may even find a student that wants to run an entire project for your nonprofit to meet their project requirements.
Some high schools also have service clubs that volunteer as a group during evenings and weekend hours to help the community.
Don’t make volunteers jump through hoops to donate their time. Make sure they have easy access to your volunteer application online and via social media. This lets them complete the application wherever is most convenient for their schedule.
Reconsider only accepting volunteers that can commit a certain number of hours. During spring and summer months, this can scare new volunteers away because of pre-planned vacations and activities. Offer different levels of commitment for them to choose between and assign tasks and responsibilities appropriately.
One of the best places to find new volunteers is to ask your existing volunteers to refer family and friends. Start by asking the strongest volunteers on your team if they know anybody they’d like to refer. It is likely they will refer people they enjoy being around and that have the same work ethic as they do, making your job to train them a little easier.
Volunteer turnover is just as costly to nonprofits as employee turnover is to businesses. When you find great volunteers, take the necessary steps to nurture the relationship and show appreciation for their efforts.